August 3rd, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Parton apologizes for Dollywood T-shirt incident

After a woman was asked to turn a T-shirt reading "Marriage is so gay" inside out while attempting to visit Dollywood's Splash Country in early July, Dolly Parton has issued a personal apology for the incident.

The woman, who according to the Atlantic was attending the park along with her wife and the children of a friend, was asked by the host at Dollywood's Splash Country to turn her shirt inside out at the park's entrance.

According to Dollywood's Splash Country press rep Pete Owens, the park has "a pretty strict dress code," and the host of the park is charged with deciding whether or not a guest's clothing is appropriate. In this case, the request to turn the "Marriage is so gay" T-shirt inside out was made "in the spirit of the dress code," Owens said.

The woman complied with the request, and no one was barred entry. However, Owens told CNN that the park was contacted by the customer on July 19 via email, which said that the couple didn't believe having to turn the t-shirt inside out was right.

Owens said an offer was made to arrange a meeting to discuss what happened, but that fell through. By August 1, Owens offered to refund the couple's admission to the park. That gesture was followed up by a personal apology from Parton herself.

"I am truly sorry for any hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian T-shirt incident at Dollywood's Splash Country recently," she says in the statement. "Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome. We do have a policy about profanity or controversial messages on clothing or signs. It is to protect the individual wearing or carrying them, as well as to keep down fights or problems by those opposed to it at the park. We even offer free shirts in exchange to those who want to remain on the park."

She continues, "I am and was on tour when this was brought to my attention and I am looking further into the incident and hope and believe it was more policy than insensitivity. I am very sorry it happened at all."

Press officer Owens said he gave Parton's statement to the couple involved and apologized if they were hurt, or uneasy, or embarrassed in any way.

Filed under: Celebrities • Music

soundoff (638 Responses)
  1. impression t shirt

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    April 17, 2013 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
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    May 26, 2012 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Classy response from a classy lady.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Quit The Hate

    I don't have a problem with the T-shirt or the message behind it, but whether it was an appropriate place to wear it. Maybe the point was to keep a confrontation from happening. I'm sure they were offended, but it wasn't the most appropriate thing to wear to a family-friendly theme park. She chose to wear a controversial t-shirt and was told it was not appropriate for the venue. Either abide by the rules or choose not to go in if you feel offended. At least they gave her the option to turn her shirt inside out and didn't refuse her entry. They were not tarred and feathered and run out of town. You have to expect for people to disagree with you when you publicly advertise your support for controversial subjects.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mort

    hmmm..............I think I'll wear my "MY WIFE AND I GET FREAKY WITH VEGETABLES" t-shirt to Dolly's park.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jennygirl

    that t-shirt was anti-straight so they wearers were prejudiced. and no, marriage doesn't really seem to be gay at all, does it?

    August 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. who cares

    Who cares...

    It's a private company. As far as I'm concerned she should be able to display a sign saying... no gays allowed. Or no redheaded people for that matter.

    August 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. who cares

    Who cares...

    It's a private company. As far as I'm concnerns she should be able to display a sign saying... no gays allowed. Or no redheaded people for that matter.

    August 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GA Peach

    Wantto bet next the woman will sue for money?

    August 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cristie

    Dollywood can do what it wants. I've always been a fan of Dolly since I was a little kid and this just makes me love her more.

    August 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. blessedgeek


    August 7, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rob

    Am I the only one that remembers the PSA on "That's so Gay" and how it was an offensive term. Oh, but it's OK, if Gay people use it? Yea, just like African Americans using the N word....NOT

    August 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bob

    Never have so many done so little for so long! Get on with more important issues concerning the world!
    Let's a lively debate on sig nificant issues and not be so myoptic with this issue. aka: Who cares?

    August 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Charlotte

    Who knows what is PC anymore, I thought saying something was "gay" was now offensive, which is what I would have thought had I seen the shirt. Would I have been allowed to wear a shirt that said Marriage is between a man and a women? I do not care who you choose to love and spend your life with, but why does everything have to turn in to a issue?

    August 6, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. James

    Since when are we apologizing for being red blooded christian Americans ? Were now the minority everyone should be apologizing to us & giving us free Gov't monies !

    August 6, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  16. Bayousara

    OK, folks, it is all over now, Dolly has apologized. Now these t-shirt wearers will probably sue her. Now that would make me real mad because I like Dolly and for the most part as a public figure, she has stayed out of controversial news her entire career. In college I wore T-shirts that today I would not wear in public, because I found out the "attention" I got was negative towards me and made me look foolish.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  17. Joann

    Why don't everyone look into the history of Disneyland. My dad in the 60's was a hippie and he couldn't go to Disneyland unless he wore a wig. In the early 80's they wouldn't let girls dance with girls and boys dance with boys, also if you had body piercings etc. you would have to make sure they were covered. But, Disneyland has changed with the times. I don't see any problems with what happened in this case. Dolly has appoligized and offerred a full refund. And, Dollly is is NOT against gays. They are protecting the person wearing the shirt because their could be idiots out there that could have caused some major issues.

    August 6, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  18. humaniam

    I am a supporter of gay marriage and free speech, but have always wondered why we find it necessary to wear our opinions across our chest? Are we misinterpreting the old saying of "keep your feelings close to the chest"? I also have a thing about little brand name icons too!

    August 6, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  19. jimbo

    Dolly has always been a woman of class. Thank You.

    August 6, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  20. Rhonda

    She knew exactly what she was doing by wearing that shirt. Anyone who wears t-shirts with debatable comments on it are wanting the attention and drama it brings them. She needs to stop whining about it and accept the apology even though I feel non is warranted. She got her 15 mins of fame that she doesn't deserve.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Kevin32

    We certainly get riled up don't we. I have the greatest respect for Miss Dolly and think she handled this with her usual sensitivity.

    Frankly on the underlying controversy I have another take. Get the government out of marriage altogether. No special rights benefits for married people period, no tax benefits no nothing. Marriage licenses should be issued by the the health dept but I think that even that is too much.

    Personally I am against all marriages straight or gay. It really doesn't work if you look at the stats and even where it does there is a lot of nonsense around it. I am gay and have been married twice, both times mistakes but then the light. I would never get married again. That is one of the benefits of Gay life, relationships are on a continuum that takes in every possible concept. But Gay folks want the "right" which does not guarantee happiness, fidelity or anything. In most cases it guarantees divorce. I have seen only a hand full of "Happy Marriages" in my life, most are standoffs at best.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  22. Reality Check

    This situation is no different than someone wearing a T-Shirt that said White is Right. I am white so why can't I wear this shirt? It's my perogative right? Sure it is but if I walked into Dollywood or any other place for that matter and persons of a different race read that shirt bet there would be an uproar and probably some kung fu fighting going on. To play devils advocate I could wear this shirt and if I am black would there be a problem? Yes, because you'd have some folks that would be like why are you wearing that shirt and blah blah. Point is you can't determine how the next person is going to react to it. I personally would read it and think nothing of it. Let's face it...there are some who feel so strongly about that statement that they may just lose their minds and commit some form of violence. Where I understand that the shirt was worn because it was in their closet or because they wanted to make a statement...someone else's take on it could be totally different and yes it could possibly cause violence. It happens every day in America for unspoken things at that. If you are on the streets of L.A. ...wearing it is fine but if you are on someone else's property and they request that you remove the have a choice. Remove it or take your a** somewhere else.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Kim (FL)

    Really !! REALLY!!! Ok now people wear shirt with words on it or not. Just so it clear. People that get married over and over and over is ok, Is that in the Bible ? So when people in the LGBT want to get married once it is not allowed. Ok and to make another point. We can't go in public with a shirt that has a point on it. OK ! So my next shirt will read BLAH (read between the letters). So will I get ask to turn the shirt inside out. MMMMmmm The person that did that. YOU are out of line. Remember this will come back to you. Peace Love and Joy !

    August 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Light In The Black

    I think your all stoopid

    August 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Light In The Black

    Allllll f@gs please be quiet!!!!!!!!!!! We have seen enough of your g@y rights and states that let you marry. Goooooo away

    August 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Crew

    For heaven's sake, really? Only in the Southern US would this garbage transpire. It's a t-shirt and it's not like it had profanity or a pic on it, get over it America.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  27. elks1

    Only 3% of the population is gay...WOW!!!!... What a sheltered life......If only he knew

    August 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Shaneeda Quit

    I didn't think the shirt was a big deal. I took the phrase "Marriage is so gay" as a pun. It can have two very different meanings.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  29. jdub

    I also wanted to point out that Dolly did apologize and she has always been a huge supporter of the gay community.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Double Standard

    Honestly, there is a bit of a double standard here and I'm remaining completely neutral on the gay marriage issue.

    Not too long ago there were multiple news stories about the use of 'gay' as an adjective synonymous with 'stupid' or 'uncool' (i.e., "That shirt is so gay"). The LBGT community made a huge deal about this and many public figures that used 'gay' in that manner were coerced into making public apologies for using what they deemed as hurtful language.

    My question: What if the host of the park who asked the shirt be turned inside-out had believed that it was possible that the shirt could be considered offensive because of the use of the adjective "gay"? What if the host of the park was trying to spare the use of such 'hurtful language' inside the park?

    The phrase on the shirt is ambiguous and the use of the term 'gay' is controversial. It was a conflict waiting to happen. All biases aside, I see nothing wrong with the decision the host of the park made.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • QS

      "...the use of the term 'gay' is controversial. It was a conflict waiting to happen."

      The only reason the word gay would be controversial is when people use it as a weapon to attempt to somehow hurt others by using it in a derogatory way.

      And let's really ask why something referring to gay marriage would be a "conflict waiting to happen" shall we? Who might be the one starting that conflict? Why would they feel the need to turn a simple T-shirt into a conflict? What would be the ultimate driving force behind somebody turning this into a conflict, I wonder....hmmmm.

      I'd be very tempted to hazard a guess that most peoples' precious religious sensibiilties inevitably will lead a person to a point of such vehement intolerance of anything outside their belief structure that they eventually convince themselves that being a horrible person to gay people is the right thing to do!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jackie

    I just have loved Dolly Parton Forever!
    I have just one question if I go to visit her Park and I see someone wearing a shirt with the confederate flag or rebel flag or stars and bars call it what you will. It's history in our country is that of treason and it represents hatred and racism. If I approached a representative of Dollywood to express my discomfort would they offer that person a free t-shirt to make everyone happy?

    August 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Janus

    So seeing what is printed on that shirt reminds me of an ad campaign that was trying to get people to stop using the phrase "this or that is so gay" as it was seen as a way of putting something down. Now there is a t-shirt proclaiming in the same phrase that was siad to be hurtful and to stop using to help promote gay marriage. I would have thought hey these two are being descriminatory against gays and not supporting them because of that ad.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • QS

      "I would have thought..."

      No, that's the problem, you wouldn't have thought – you would have simply assumed. The irony of the shirt should be apparent especially to someone who admits to having seen the ad campaign against using the phrase "that's so gay".

      August 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janus

      No I am sure I meant I would have thought that is what it meant. Why would I assume it was an ironic statement. The shirt could have meant anything, positive or negative dependant on who was wearing it. It would be an assumption that only a gay or lesbain would be sporting it around. In anycase it could be seen as controversial and could incite something they would rather not have started in a fun park. Could the situation have been handled better, sure why not. However, the people who wore it did so for a reaction. Would they have been prepared for a negative one is the question.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Adam Kim

    This tiny incident made news???? This tells you how powerful the GLBT community is in the media. Please grow a skin! There are many of minority groups that go through a lot more than this but don't hog the media bandwidth on trivial incidents like this!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  34. mike

    The world is hungery and we cry and complained cause someone hurt our feelings grow up quite bringing pressure on yourself you new when you put it on mommy was going to make you take it off kiddies.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Mike Hunt

    It was a message – a political message. If someone wore a shirt that said "Bush Sucks" or "Obama Sucks" they would have been asked to change or turn the shirt inside out also. Like Parton's rep said, it was a policy issue.

    Free speech statutes only apply in public places not on private property. In fact, most private gyms have the same policies against shirts with "statements" on them although this is rarely enforced.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  36. troothteller

    Dolly is one of the Classiest Acts in Entertainment. A TOTAL PROFESSIONAL!! She handled an awkward incident perfectly fine.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Rsprings

    Seriously? People gay or straight don't need to advertise their s exual orientation. This place is a family oriented park she could have chosen to wear another T-shirt. But now she wants her 15 minutes of fame. If I were Dolly I would not apologize.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  38. QS

    This comment section just proves once again that some people either honestly don't realize they're being hypocrites or they do and are simply proud of it. You actually have someone using the name "Tired of PC BS" defending the right of the park to enforce their version of PC'ness.

    Then there's the "it's all about the children" argument which is the epitome of last resort arguments in the context of any conversation regarding gay people. Rather than being mature adults and using the incident, or even the shirt itself, as a teaching moment, they instead continue to shield and shelter kids from the world and life itself by demanding everybody else be PC "for the kids", all the while talking out of the other side of their mouths about how sick they are of having to be so PC to "make the gay community feel comfortable". The irony surrounding this incident doesn't seem to end at the shirt, does it?

    You people are hilarious to me! I can't even begin to explain how completely illogical your arguments are because even if I tried you would only hear that I disagree with you and that must mean I want to force an agenda or some other completely childish, knee-jerk response to anything that YOU disagree with.

    How about if everybody is so tired of all this PC'ness, you defend the woman wearing the shirt who was only expressing her PI'ness? As many of you are so fond of can't have it both ways.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Glenn


    August 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  40. LOL

    Would a shirt stating "Democrats are so gay" be deemed offensive? I would think so. That couple would probably wear that shirt to a Chuck-e-Cheeses. I understand the shirt, it's a joke/pun or just personal expression. Unfortunately it's just not family oriented. I find it irresponsiible for the wearer of that t-shirt to think that it is appropriate for a family place.

    LOL good point

    August 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  41. terry

    I'm so tired of all this BS. They have a dress code, and it should be enforce equaly among all guests.
    It's the same as saying guns are not allowed, but you can't have your gun in this park and if you are asked to not bring it in to the park and you complain then you get what you want.
    I'm tired of having all this gay bs shoved in my face, if you want to be gay that's fine.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  42. ralk

    And this is news?

    August 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  43. CaptnAvenger

    Whether or not any of us likes the shirt, or agrees with it (I'm completely fine with it), it remains a fact that there are people who do not, and some of those will throw a punch to make their point. With this in mind, the Host did the right thing. It is the Host's job (and the job of all of the employees in the park) to keep people safe, and sometimes that means a judgment call we might not initially be happy with. If he erred, it was on the side of caution; a totally forgivable way to err.

    I think Dolly and Co. have gone out of their way to make amends, and really don't see a controversy here.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  44. NoDoubt

    I actually have mixed feelings about all this. I agree that gays and lesbians should be able to marry, but that shirt was worn at a family theme park just to stir up trouble.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Straight white man

    If the fruits and nuts want to bend over backwards for each other then great. Don't expect the rest of us to bend over for them!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Ryan

    I wore my pro-gay marriage t-shirt to work today!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  47. peter_wiggin

    It was not her "Wife". She lives in a state that does not recognize gay marriage. Partner...yes, When is the media going to stop forcing this issue down every ones throats. This was a non story to begin with. A lot of people are told turn them inside out not just this couple. The only reason it made any headlines at all is because they are gay.

    What if an African American decided to wear a black power t-shirt would that have made the news? Doubtful. It is sad that of the many problems with actual racism in our country that the gays have the monopoly on discrimination now. Most people that I know could care less and frankly are sick and tired of the gay marriage issue dominating the discrimination debate. Enough already.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sally

      Where did you read what state this woman lives in? Just because she was visiting a theme park in a state doesn't mean she is a resident of that state, and even if she was, this article doesn't mention if this couple might have gone out of state to get legally married.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • peter_wiggin

      its called research and it was mentioned in the original t-shirt article. In addition if you want something about real discrimination then check out (and I hate to do this) foxnews for the story (vid) about the 6 year old African American child who was hit with a cup full of soda. That is real discrimination not this stuff.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  48. JC

    I am not "gay." I believe "gay" is abnormal. I belive "gay" is discusting in nature and don't believe the "silent majority" in America think it is normal. I have the right to my opinion and the right to express that opinion. I also believe that those who think it is wrong would take a stand and boycott places like Dollywood maybe folks would consider our opinion also. I can not believe I stand alone in this "my opinion."

    August 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  49. sam

    Okay, cool. Now I know I can wear my "Soccer is so gay" T-shirt to the MoMA.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Funstuff

    Would a shirt stating "Democrats are so gay" be deemed offensive? I would think so. That couple would probably wear that shirt to a Chuck-e-Cheeses. I understand the shirt, it's a joke/pun or just personal expression. Unfortunately it's just not family oriented. I find it irresponsiible for the wearer of that t-shirt to think that it is appropriate for a family place.

    So on a personal note I think both members of the "couple" need to get their head's examined. Obviously they are edgy based on their choices in life...perhaps there is a solution with proper conditioning..... 🙂

    August 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jim

    Why apologize? If this goes against the dress code of Dollywood and Dollywood is a "private" park/company, then they should be able to enforce this.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Rodney

    Political Correctness is ruining this Country.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Straight white man

    When I go to a park with my wife and kids I don't need to see crap messages about George Bush, gay rights or anything else.
    Want to be gay? Fine. Don't advertise. If you do then you can expect people to look at you in a negative way.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  54. guitarguymv

    I didn't understand this story until I read it a second time. Why all the fuss? Because the couple is gay. So, political statements on shirts are banned ... unless you're gay. Disgusting.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  55. solat14

    We spend so much time making sure that everyone who is of alternative lifestyle is comfortable. What about me and my family. My 6 year old can read very well. If he saw that he would ask me what it meant. Going to a family park for a day of family fun is not the place or time to force me to have to explain your message to my son. I cannot and will not tell you how to live. It is your choice and I support it. You have to have respect me and my family if you want me to respect yours. There should be tact used when promoting your cause. Not every situation is the right situation.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      Yes, we wouldn't want your little brain taxed having to explain things to your kid. What do you do when it comes to bumper stickers like "It's a child, not a choice" or "Abortion ends a beating heart"? Or do you only worry about what the kid reads at amusement parks? I really feel sorry for your kid if you're unable to explain something like "Marriage is so gay". Maybe crack open a dictionary and teach the kid what the word "gay" really means.

      August 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  56. BobZemko

    They had every right to ask the shirt be turned inside out. If they don't like it, don't go to the park.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  57. humtake

    I don't see the big issue. There was a person at the front who has to make politically correct decisions on the fly. That means that there will be times it upsets people. So the upset people write in a complaint, as they should. Then, the proprietor determines if the complain is valid and takes action if they deem it so.

    Truthfully, this is not an issue. This is, in fact, a shining example that the right processes do work sometimes...and also that political correctness hurts this country more than helps it. Ok, the last line was all opinion, but the rest is very true. 🙂

    August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  58. ZeroGods

    Seems like the park employees and ownership have a reasonable policy that reflects a) the current stage of social evolution of dollywood customers and b) the fact that it's a family/kids-oriented establishment. I'm for gay rights and gay marriage, but many people in this country have a religion-fuelled or fear-fuelled hatred for gay people, and a theme park doesn't seem like the right place to be fighting a culture war. Looking forward to a day when this issue is no longer controversial.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  59. SciFichickie

    If yall think this is an infringement on the 1st Amendments Freedom of speach...
    Then what ever you do. Don't come to Virginia Beach, VA they have signs posted ALL over the beach, no Cussing allowed you will get a ticket...

    August 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  60. alex

    I'm just glad they made them turn it inside out. They're gay and nobody cares and nobody else needs to know about it. blah.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  61. eizone

    as a business, dollywood has the right to decide what is clothing is offensive when someone is at their park.

    the consumer has the right to bring attention to any issue they have in hopes of getting the park to change their policy or to get other people not to go there.

    let's support everyone's rights.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  62. PauletteB

    I visit the Smoky Mountains frequently, although I stay in Gatlinburg not Pigeon Forge. While I support the T-shirt's message 100%, it was probably unwise to wear it in this particular venue. As a Born Again Christian, I'm appalled at the hatred and intolerance I've witnessed from some of the area's so-called Christians. Asking the woman to turn her shirt inside-out was in line with the park's policy; even more important, it was for her own safety.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  63. 2brok2kar

    Not so long ago that message would have meant "Marriage is so happy".

    August 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  64. jdj

    Although I strongly disagree with the sentiment of the t-shirt the woman was wearing, kudos to her for not making a scene at the park.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  65. boyamidumb

    You know, we're all just getting a little bit weary of it being shoved in our faces. I don't care who you love as long as it's another consenting adult. and you are NEVER going to convert the people who do object so give it up. Shut your mouths and go on about living and loving and you will be amazed by the number of people suddenly NOT objecting to your preference in a mate.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Boy You Are Dumb

      You think that if we quiet down that all those people
      trying to pass laws against us are just going to go away ?
      All men are created "EQUAL"
      there is no asterisk that says "unless you are gay".

      August 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Aud

    What in the world is the matter with people, has everyone gone nuts? What would have happened if someone walked in with a "I love Jesus" tee shirt on would that person be asked to turn the shirt inside out? I don't know who the person working at Dollywood is but he certainly doesn't have the right to tell anybody anything. Sad part about this? This is not looking good for Miss Dolly. She offered a refund to these people, that's it are you kidding me? What about the humiliation this has caused these peoplle? I think its worth a lot more than just a refund and apology. I'm from TN and something like this really bothers me, shame shame on Dollywood for allowing some thing like this to happen. .

    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  67. D.J.

    I would prefer my children not see a shirt that says "Marriage is so Gay". Before you bring out the torches and pitchforks, I would have no problem with them seeing a shirt that says "Marriage Equality" or "I Love my Wife" or "Let me marry my GirlFriend"...the issue is not gay marriage to me. It is that I teach my children it is not appropriate to use Gay as a deragatory word. They aren't mature enough to understand the comedic value of the shirt. My two cents...

    August 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Steve

    OK so the ladys are first OK with the policy, but I guess when they got home they got some awsome advice from their friends who now tell them they can cash in and play the offended card....see thats where I have a problem with this, what if I went to the part at the same time she was there and had a T-shirt that said...Gays love immoral....then I would guess she would have a fit saying she was offended at the park, FINE you are gay and love rug munching...thats for you and your partner to do and enjoy in private...not displaying for all to see...if you dont like it....then dont go to the public places who have rules to protect you and your family against these kind of issues....They are looking for a quick buck and 15 minutes of fame....GET OVER IT...

    August 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  69. memphispiano

    I love the morons who are posting that this T-shirt was not controversial. Are you out of yours minds? If it weren't controversial, we wouldn't be having all these postings. Duh?!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  70. jobo

    This always seems to revolve around gay something or another. The LA Lakers had to deal with it. I am pretty sure we will see a day in this country where you will be charged and jailed for saying certain things offensive to the gay community. Heck, CNN has already blacklisted my other account, and they probably will not post this.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  71. Crocker

    When will the insanity finally stop? No one knows what is right, wrong or decent anymore. We are so far out in left field that even God must be shaking his head.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  72. drc239

    I'm tired of hearing about "free speech." Free speech is something our country, our soldiers, honored us with- and instead of cherishing it and being grateful, people abuse it. What happened to class and respect? I'm a Mother. I want to keep my child innocent for as long as I can. But every time I turn around, someone is wearing something inappropriate or cursing or has a foul bumper sticker ...and I pray my child doesn't see it, hear it, and/or cannot read it. I'm in the grocery store and teens are using foul language. GROW a brain! The dictionary is FULL of lovely words, get an education. The F-word should not be used as a noun, a verb, and an adjective. Then we get home and our NEIGHBOR is drunk, with fake testicles hanging from his pick-up truck, swearing and loudly playing profanity laced rap/metal music. Black people can use the N word out loud, but anyone else does it, they get attacked. Gay people can use the word "gay" in a dirogatory slang way, but if anyone else does it ... it's on CNN. Come on people. We're not exercising our free speech anymore ... we're going to heck in a hand basket. No one is legitimately taking a stand for their beliefs ... they are just doing things for the shock value of it all. If the "N" word (or any word) is offensive, NO ONE SHOULD USE IT, let alone print it on a shirt! Dollywood did the right thing ... adults forget these days that we need to put the kids first! Let's return to having some class.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  73. bigboobage

    I don't disagree at all with the message of the shirt. I do agree in principle that maybe we can check our politics at the door when we go to parks with families of all kinds.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  74. The Right Coast

    I find this incident ridiculous. Gays make such a fuss about kids saying "That's so gay!" yet when a lesbian wears the shirt... saying "Marriage is so gay" that's OK? Grow up lesbians - and stop forcing your agenda down everyone's throat. You ladies got married didn't you? Be happy now and leave everyone else at Dollywood alone. Always crying VICTIM... ridiculous.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  75. Cptn America

    What's hilarious about this is everyone is up in arms about turning a friggin t-shirt inside out. (insert sarcasm) OH NO!!!! What's the world coming to?!! Ridiculous. And of course ol Dolly is going to come out and "defend" the gay and lesbian community- she's got something to sell and that's a group of people with serious buying power. Wake up people. There are bigger issues than hurt feelings because of an inside-out T-shirt. This is America- be grateful you even have a place like Dollywood to go to

    August 4, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  76. david

    Liberal America
    The land of the freaks and the home of the depraved.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      United States Of America

      Land Of The Free
      Home of the brave
      God bless gay people.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Da'rrell

    You do not have the right to make your personal protest on personal property. She could have either turned the shirt inside out or left the park. It was her choice to wear the shirt. Its their choice if they allow her to wear it on their property.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  78. Wally

    This is ridiculous. I would be upset if i had my children at the park and they saw that shirt. There is only one way that my 9 and 6 year old would interpret it – Marriage is stupid. I don't want that message to them. As an adult and somebody who supports the gay and lesbian community, I can see past the false first impression, but don't. Why wear it to a park that is full with families anyways. I can't help but think that this lady did it on purpose. Also, stop pulling the the gay and lesbian card every chance you get. This had nothing to do with discrimination towards your lifestyle. The shirt was offensive and that's the bottom line. If a straight couple had worn it, it would still be just as insulting.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  79. TakeYourShirtOffMoron

    It's a family park, not a political stage. This girl's getting her 15 minutes of fame.
    So her feelings were hurt, suck it up and move on.

    You message is "MARRIAGE IS GAY", well here's my message, "CRYIN ABOUT REMOVING IT IS EVEN MORE GAY!"

    August 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  80. EWW

    That top she's wearing looks just like that dirt suit those women wear in the Swiffer commercials. Nasty. "what about love.."

    August 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  81. rufus

    I am thrilled that Dolly is backing off. Now I can wear my "Hey look at me! I'm gay." tee-shirt. Being gay is not enough. We have to tell the world.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  82. Elinor

    Oh, good grief – What an inane "controversy." Grow up everybody! If you don't like someone's T-shirt at the amusement park, get over it. Move on. Get on a ride, go have a lemonade. Everybody is offended by something – it's absurd to try and legislate the world to fit your personal doctrines.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  83. whaaa

    So now calling something gay is an insult used by gay people??

    August 4, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  84. Bagur Parton

    Let us say I am an atheist and I wear a plain t-shirt and slacks when I go to a theme park. Then let us say I spot another person wearing a t-shirt saying "I Love Jesus" and I find that offensive. Should I consider that controversial?. Should I report that to the park officials? What would Jesus do?

    August 4, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  85. jps

    Personally I would have laughed at the shirt and I am straight. But honestly, when you wear a shirt with a message like that, you know it is going to attract attention and you are making a statement. Maybe a family amusement park is not the best place to do that if your object is just to enjoy the day. Reminds me of the 70s when Disneyland in CA would not allow anyone with facial hair into the park! They changed the policy for one day so the hippies could come in and it caused all kinds of furor. It's true - google it! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  86. PanicMoon

    Had someone come in with a t-shirt that had a blatently derogatory message about the GLBT community, they, too, likely would have been asked to make adjustments accordingly, and as far as we know, it may have happened before and it was never reported to the press.

    The controversy of the t-shirt is that the phrase "so gay" has been widely cited as offensive, except if used by members og the GLBT community, just like the N. word. That puts people like me who have to monitor potential controversial dress or actions in family-friendly businesses in a very difficult position in trying to determine people's intentions.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  87. Belloch

    "Marriage is so gay"

    I can see how that would be controversial on both sides of the coin.

    On one hand, the person wearing such a shirt could come under fire because it could sound like they are supporting the controversial topic of gay rights.

    On another hand, the person wearing such a shirt could come under fire because we're scolded by the likes of Wanda Sykes and others not to use the phrase "(something) is so gay" because it is derogatory toward gays and lesbians.

    I'm not even sure which of these statements the person wearing the shirt was trying to make. I think the person wearing the shirt needs to apologize to Dolly for making a mountain out of a molehill. The fact that Dolly apologized for this incident is a credit to her.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  88. Evangeline

    Perhaps the best thing to do would be to enforce a policy of now clothing with "slogans".

    August 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  89. Resident Cynic

    When I was a teenager, I worked at a water park that had a very strict "No Logo" policy on T-shirts. This meant abolutely nothing on the shirts and prevented all sorts of problems. The only exception was if there was a large group and they had to get their shirts pre-approved.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  90. Jeremy

    Wow my respect for Dolly has increased 10 fold, I know she's one of the hardest working people in the industry but to reach out like that really speaks highly of her.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  91. The_Unspoken_Truth

    A messge to Tea Partiers:

    I saw uncountably many signs at the Rally that were distasteful and outright rude towards President Obama. They spoke of his intelligence, his lack or origin in the US, his race, etc.

    These topics are HIGHLY inflammatory and were shown in the middle of a predominately black town? Are they protected by First Amendment rights?


    Think about that and get back at me.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  92. The_Unspoken_Truth

    A messge to Tea Partiers:

    I saw uncountably many signs at the Rally that were distasteful and outright rude towards President Obama. They spoke of his intelligence, his lack or origin in the US, his race, etc.

    These topics are HIGHLY inflammatory and were shown in the middle of a predominately black town? Are they protected by First Amendment rights?


    Think about that and get back at me.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  93. PamTN

    I live in Knoxville and I am SO sick of hearing about this story. Had these ladies been holding hands, nothing would have been said to them. It wasn't about intolerance. The employee made a judgement call about a shirt. Living in East Tennessee my whole life, I can tell you she can't be the first customer asked to turn their shirt inside out and the majority of those shirts probably had nothing to do with a gay lifestyle. We aren't all biggots down here in the south. I think the word discrimination gets thrown around way too much. Discrimination would have been the case had they not been allowed to enter the park at all.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  94. Viperkat

    I am neither a Bigot or a racist, but I do know something about human nature. Adults should be responsible for their acts, and those of their children. With that said, I understand that there are those Adults that are looking for a reaction, and dress for it. They, specifically, want to startle people and are "in your face" types. Sure, I have my opinions but I don't wear them in public to astound people, or get into arguments. Common sense dictates that if you don't want confrontation, don't provoke people.

    Making a statement, about anything, on a piece of clothing, in my mind, could possibly provoke a confrontation and an Adult should realize that, especially for their children's sake.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  95. Ashley Cooper

    Let's face it. We alll know that the gay woman was trying to be offensive to those who don't support the gay cause, and she was trying to "stir the pot" by wearing that shirt. For the record I would have been offended to have to see such a shirt while trying to enjoy my day at the water park with my family. If the gays have the right to put that in my face, then surely I have the right to be offended by it. Now that I know Dolly Parton and her Dollywood parks support gay rights, I know that I will not spend a dollar there. I still have the right to spend my dollar wherever I wish, and I don't wish to support gay causes.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  96. Sandy

    I'm sorry, but if I were at Dollywood with my family and I saw that shirt. I would be offended. Marriage is not 'GAY' and I wouldn't appreciate having to have that conversation with my little girl or boy at such an inappropriate time. Fine wear your shirt. Just not to a family park. You can call me prejudiced all you want. I'm a democrat but there are some things I draw the line at. Its your right to be gay. It's my right not to agree with it.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  97. Kuddln

    Well... there goes that plan to go visit Dolly Parton's amusement park ! If HER own "paid-employees" can not support Dolly's philosophies and beliefs... then I think it's a conflict SHE has with her paid-employees.. not mine. I won't support any amusment park that is not abiding with any gay and lesbian friendly acceptance, whether it's wearing T-shirts or holding hands. Kissing in public.. ..well, that's in a grey-area.. and a quick-kiss on the lips is okay.. .just not the passionate ones that are "behind the closed-doors". Children should be treated as "children" and not adults.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  98. Greg

    The shirt should say "Marriage is ANYTHING BUT gay"

    August 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  99. Chrissy

    Dolly seems like she is a wonderful person and a class act. She actually supports gay rights. The judgement call was made by her staff and Dolly apologized. I would love to meet her because if you have ever listened to her she seems like a kind and caring person. She is very open-minded (she likes all kinds of music) and believes that everyone should be treated fairly. She has true southern charm and grace. She is a class act. Just because she's southern doesn't mean that she's hateful or bigoted. I'm from NC and I support gay rights as well. It's not a stereotype that we all fit in.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Kuddln

      Nope.. I won't DOLLY PARTON for nuthin. If she hires staff that doesn't support her philosophies... then that's HER problem.. and I'm not spending my hard-earned cash to get "unfair treatement" at her amusment park. She can keep her park for whatever she wants!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  100. MikeFrye

    Apologizing only adds credibility to a complaint that had none to begin with! Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but we have to be caretakers of that right. Just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean you have free rein to express it wherever you wish, in the private domain. Everyone was "fortunate" enough to read the shirt, before she went into the park. That was public domain. Now they are patrons of an establishment that has rules, they just simply have to obey them, or take their money back and go home.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  101. Mike

    I like Dolly Parton. Her music isn't my cup of tea, but she is a genuinely nice person. You'll rarely meet anyone who has anything negative to say about her. She's very talented on screen and on stage. If she says something, you can believe she's sincere.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  102. Ima Bigot

    Ok, I have a real confession to make, seriously. I have wasted far too much time making a mockery of this whole subject.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  103. Ima Bigot

    This story is Qweer

    August 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  104. Jewel

    Many people are asked to turn their shirts inside out on a daily basis at many establishments and theme parks. There's a reason for it, no matter your views. But you don't see people complaining about it and making the news, because I suspect they understand policy at such places. You're there to enjoy a day with your family; not to see if you can make the news headlines. This is def not news worthy......

    August 4, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  105. Josh

    Shame on these two ladies, making a mountain out of a mole hill!! Dolly did not have to apologize for the actions in the park, because frankly, the person telling the lady to change her shirt or flip it inside out should be counceled on proper ways to treat park guests. It's one thing to tell someone their shirt may offend others, but it's another to demand that the shirt be flipped due to the facility being a family attraction. First of all, go to any amusement park, anywhere in the world and you'll see just how offensive people are with their 'duds'. It's not a matter of what she was wearing or what she was proclaiming with her shirt. The fact is, the person demanding the shirt be flipped was offended. She could've passed me 100 times in the park, and I would not have thought twice about it, heck, I may've chuckled the first time. Bottom line, the person who was offended made a big deal out of it to the ladies, and in turn, they got on their high lesbian horse and made a bigger deal out of it, causing for an unecessary apology by the founder and creator of the park they visited...What's next ladies, a trip around the country? The quest to find the most offended park attendent and have that founder of that park apologize publiclly so that you two can make some sort of statement about how amusement parks are not 'amusing' you anymore? If you didn't like what that person said, and told you to take the shirt and flip it, did you? I know if it were anyone else, the scenario may've been a little verbally combative, but nonetheless, it would have ended there and that's it. The world does not care you are lesbians, and certainly does not care what clothes you chose to wear to Dollywood (neither does Dolly Parton). But like a two year old, you threw a tantrum and wanted America to see what our country has become...well, it's cry babies like you that make people wonder why our country is so messed up. Was this completely necessary??? I think not!!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  106. Big Bob

    How we pander to such a small minority.

    1400 gay couples sign up to get married in NYC, one of the most gay-friendly towns on the planet. That's 2800 people out of a population of over 9 million. I hate no one, but I simply don't get it.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      What part of....."I love my partner".....dont you get ?

      August 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Mike in SA

    Actually, while this is a public amusement park, it is not a govenment park and as such, they can make whatever rules they want. Your choice to go or not go; your choice to wear what ever you want; their choice to say that XYZ is offensive and have you or hte T-shirt removed.

    Oh, and no, I don't think the T-shirt was offensive.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  108. GeoCentric

    I think Dolly's swift apology and explanation was a classy thing to do. True, the park does have a "right" to censor any way they seem fit (it's private property), but I don't think there was any malicious or bigoted intent really. It was a judgement call, and one person's judgement can't always be the absolute best choice very time. Some gay people may have a problem with kids using the term "That's so gay", so a shirt that said that could be offensive to some people as well. Allowing confederate flags on the one hand is a sense of Southern Pride to some, to others a reminder of some very dark moments in our country's history. I guess my point is something left up to the discretion of employees won't always get it right, we just have to forgive and move on sometimes.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  109. clevelandben

    I have been proven correct with an earlier post: "Dolly Parton, a lady with sass AND class [and a whole lotta talent]. Luv you, Dolly!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  110. Jack

    Disney has the same policy and I have seen many folks having to go to guest services for a replacement shirt

    August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  111. OldGoat

    First Amendment protections apply to the actions of federal, state and local governments. Businesses are not and cannot be compelled to respect your First Amendment rights. Dollywood was entirely within its rights to "censure" this woman and her T-shirt. They have to consider all of their customers' points of view, not just those of two lesbians.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  112. logic

    if she had a problem with turning her shirt inside out, why did she do it? why complain days later?? if its a problem, then its a problem. don't comply w/ what people are asking and then days later say 'ohh, that wasn't right"

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  113. DCB

    I support gay marriage but don't like using the derogatory term "gay" even in support, so I don't mind that the park took issue with the shirt. How can I teach my kids not to use derogatory words if the people I support are doing it themselves? The couple in question, and many of the commenters, seem to have missed this point.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Going In Circles

      One woman did this
      for crying out loud, dont people have any freaking common sense.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  114. woodrow

    And so, I'm thinking, yes, marriage is pretty gay. This is a very positive spin with dual meaning. I don't get why it's offensive. People do not enjoy marriage? This is sacrosanct?

    August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  115. Seriously??

    I'm sorry, but the hypocrisy is maddening. If a straight individual wore a shirt to this park that was deemed offensive to gays, this whole board would have been turned upside down. I'm so tired of the double standard. Just because you are gay doesn't give you the right to say or do whatever you please. We all know this t-shirt didn't mean gay as in "happy". Save that explanation for the birds!!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  116. rsjacksonus

    Why, after 3 days, is this still an issue and still on the website? There are people dying in combat and bad weather and a whole host of other things but this is apparently a big deal. She's apologized. Move along now.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  117. Wayland

    I have no problem with anyone being gay and being married. My problem, or question rather, about this situation is why is it alright for someone who is presumably gay or a supporter of gays to call something "so gay" but that is a term that by the P.C. rule book people aren't supposed to use? There are public service announcements ridiculing this type of thing and indoctrinating children not to use offensive terms like that.

    Adults may know what your meaning is but there are a lot of children that I'm sure are confused to why they're told not to use that term and then see gays using a term that supposedly offends them. It's akin to someone of a certain ethnicity using terms themselves that are offensive to their race.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      One redneck lesian woman wears a bad t-shirt
      and you hold all of us responsible ?

      August 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  118. AnythingGoes

    I'm going to Dollywood this weekend wearing my "Dolly Parton has huge knockers" T-shirt, cant wait either because I'm getting it printed on the inside too!!! LOL

    August 4, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  119. Isabele

    That is nothing compared to what I saw this past Christmas while visiting Universal Studios Orlando....a man with the N word plastered boldly across his chest. We made comments about how disgusting he was and he just turned away.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  120. WhatEver1

    Here we go again. Gay is wrong period... If it is so right then all the gay men need to go somewhere and be alone and all the gay chicks as well. Leave them that way for about 80 years and the prob. will fix its self. Nature will allow them to be happy together then just die off... Men cant make babies with men and chicks cant make babies with chicks.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black


      You do understand that all gay children come from straight parents dont you ?

      August 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  121. rr

    I think the policy is the problem itself. How do you define controversial messages?

    August 4, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  122. Not interested

    I think it was all just following policy and I think it is a good policy at that. I admire Dolly supporting the rights of everyone but rules are rules, especially in her park. It was for the good of ALL. Everybody just needs to be happy and do their own thing, whatever makes them happy. I'm straight but if being gay makes you happy, so be it. That's your thing and not mine. Being straight makes me happy. Let's all just get along and quit obsessing about who is gay and who is straight.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  123. WVLady 63

    The WOMAN was with HER "WIFE?????" Good grief! MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, NOT BETWEEN A WOMAN AND A WOMAN OR A MAN AND A MAN. Just because these gays try and cram their perverse behavior down our throats doesn't mean we have to accept it as normal. Too bad Dolly Parton apologized. Guess she has forgotten that we are GUARANTEED UNABRIDGED FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashley Cooper

      Well said WVLady 63. I am not the least bit sorry that I don't support gay marriage. Right is right and wrong is wrong. If the gays have the "right" to be offended by my beliefs, then I surely have the "right" to be offended by their beliefs and their behavior. I absolutely would have been offended by this gay T-shirt had I been spending the day with my family at the water park that day.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  124. KennyG

    Feel sorry about huring someone's feelings is okay, and an apology is necessary. Appologizing for have rules for your own establishment does not require an apology. I don't allow smonking in my house, my rules and nobody is allowed to break them. Her establishment is a family friendly place, and she probably support non contoversal visitors to her business. She has that right. Too bad she is expected to bow to current Gay leanings by many.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  125. cw

    O my gosh,

    This from ms Dolly herself....Ms ARE WRONG....G-AY MARRIAGE IS WRONG...PERIOD. O dolly...haven't you read your Bible lately or are you just sooo consumed with all that money your making. Remember one day it will all be dust...just like Pollywood = Po.lictically correct name for Dolly wood.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  126. PeterD

    America has lost its priority and become Gay Parasites leading them to self destruction Path.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  127. UhYeaOk

    It's a private park, if someone doesn't like the dress code DON"T GO.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  128. AnythingGoes

    I think she should have whipped the shirt off right there at the gate and stood there with her bra (if she wears one)! He he

    August 4, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  129. kdf

    This is so out of hand and over publisized. Get over it people. Just dont wear shirts that say anything.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  130. hingedlwnb

    I wonder how many T-shirts with confederate flag symbols are allowed into Dollywood? No gay rights slogan ever symbolized lynchings and disenfranchisement.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  131. erich2112x

    You gotta' be a jerk to wear that t-shirt in the first place. We're right in the middle of a historical debate about gay marriage in America, and you gotta' go stir the pot with some dizzy little line on a t-shirt for everyone to see.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  132. ivette santiago

    Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and this is news why????????????????????????? omg!!!!! when is the gay community going to stop trying to gain attention to themselves, not everything that's written is going to apply to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have gay friends, gay family also but this is ridiculous!!!!!! This world is out of control!

    August 4, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      I always love when some straight guy on a rant says he has gay friends/family.
      Then bashes them.
      You could walk by me and 15 other gay people and you would not even know.
      But one gay person wears a t-shirt, and suddenly

      August 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Linda

    Dolly should have NOT apologized, she had NOTHING to apologize for. The gay couple needed to move on, they are living a perverted life style and there are MANY, MANY of us that do not accept it as an acceptable life style. No one treated them rudely, just because they accepted their life style doesn't mean others "HAVE TOO". I believe marriage is still between a man & woman....... anything other than that is your choice and is considered perversion & un-natural.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  134. john g

    Makes you want to put on a big blond wig a tight dress and high heels and go to the park and spit tabacco! Eye see you!

    August 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  135. Britt

    If I go to a baseball game I am going to wear a jersey. If I go to a concert I will wear a concert tee. If I go to a family theme park I am going to wear a shirt talking about gay marriage?????

    August 4, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  136. zorro

    As a practicing attorney, I just want to make something clear: a park CANNOT violate someone's First Amendment rights. The First Amendment states, among other things, that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. This provision also applies to states through the 14 amendment. However, nothing in the First amendment says that I, as a private individual, can't do whatever I want with whomever about their speech in my own premises. It may be argued that it is not PC, that it discriminates, but it is not a violation of the First Amendment.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  137. Richie

    Why apologize? I would punch em in the face!

    August 4, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      So Richie,
      Punching a woman in the face makes you a real man, huh ?
      Is your mom proud ?
      Gays and Lesbians scare you that much, wow.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  138. Will

    They werent asked to leave, they were asked to cover an article of clothing that was deemed inappropriate. Stop the whining.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  139. Slogan

    Dolly is a sweetheart. I 'am' embarrassed for Dolly this incident went this far.

    Its all in the way you react to something that affects you. Some people let a 'fly' ruin their whole day and everyone else nearby. Unfortunately people who let a 'fly' bother them, are not that educated and insecure.

    I hope the park visitor had a memorable time and enjoyed her day at the park with her wife and kids. Did the kids remember having a good time and laughs, or was it like Debbie-downer was dragged along.
    If someone breaks a drink glass at a party, does the party stop and everyone go home?

    The other day I was in my favorite grocery store and I was informed by a kid employee, who saw me snapping a pic with my mobile of a box of cheap cheese snacks, that "I wasn't allowed to take pics of products in the store". I fluffed it off. Its not worth me making a big deal that the store has 100 video cameras in the store videotaping me on every isle, but I am not allowed to snap 'one' picture of a box of cheap cheese snacks. I snapped it as a joke to a friend. Inside joke... You wouldn't laugh, so its not worth explaining... I still got my 'one' pic, and emailed it to my friend.

    I was with a friend who commented on the incident. I said, "its not worth saying anything or the energy."

    August 4, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  140. D

    This is such a non-issue. The people weren't mistreated and were allowed into the park. I remember years back I went to a club with two of my friends. I was the only one wearing a button up shirt and apparently this place had a strict dress code enforcement about T-shirts with logos and demanded both my friends turn their's inside out. Of course the guy was a jerk and we all left. The point is, this kind of thing happens all the time. Its only perceived as an injustice because the women happened to be gay and our culture is now so hyper-focused on it. Now if the women were abused or mistreated or barred entry, that's another story.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  141. Iowan

    I find the very use of the phrase "_ is so gay" offensive, used in any way by any person. I find it to be an insensitive remark. My wife and I will not allow our chlidren to use this phrase to describe anything they don't like. I don't feel the park was out of line for asking the individual to cover up the message. It could very well have cause more than a moment of awkwardness for the wearer had she chosen to wear the shirt in the park with the message displayed. she may have been subjected to outright abuse.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  142. Ed

    Why don't we finally make something very simple. ALL amusement parks, busineses, etc. that are worried about conflict or safety related to what statement someone has on their teeshirt should have a published policy that ANY clothing with any statement on it is not allowed. That eliminates the issue of what is and what is not offensive. This is not a freedom of speech issue – any private business has the right to have and enforce a proper dress code. If you insist you need to make a statement by wearing a billboard – don't go to a business that won't let you.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  143. toddro

    Next time I go to Dollywood, I am SO wearing a gay t-shirt. That way I not only go for free but get a free dollywood t-shirt. Dolly just opened herself up to some big-time losses.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  144. Dave

    It's private property right? Ok, then case closed..Sounds like Park officials went way above what is expected of them to do.. this is a non-issue...

    August 4, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  145. Pasinez

    The T-shirt was designed to be controversial. It violated park policy so the woman was wrong to complain. Her intelligence could be questioned for wearing it out of the house. How did the news services hear out this crap?

    August 4, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  146. Wolfe

    And yet, had this person worn the shirt inside the park and someone had taken offense with it and actually became physical to the point of fighting, many of you would have accused them of "gay bashing" or discrimination or something else. And it might even have been labeled a "hate crime." Just as this lady has the right to her opinion, so do the rest of the park's patrons that were there that day. Many people are quick to defend the right of someone to have their own opinion, and yet would have been outraged had someone in the park disagreed with the statement on that ladies shirt. I don't see how you can have it both ways. If a person can express their pro gay opinion and you're good with it, you should be ok when someone expresses an anti gay opinion.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Wearing a t-shirt is legal.
      Assaulting another human being is illegal.
      got that ?

      August 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Grumpster

    Private business can implement any dress code they so desire. End of story. That said, when I saw the headline, I thought it was going to be something about Dolly in a wet T-shirt. Darn.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  148. Al

    DOLLY is a class act

    August 4, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  149. Nelson

    The reason why the meeting between the couple and Dolly fell through was because the couple wanted to bring a lawyer/activist from a gay/lesbian action group. Can't believe Dolly turned that one down (*sarcasm*).

    August 4, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  150. MOCaseA

    For all those out there saying "There was nothing offensive about that shirt, I would encourage you to remember something: Dollywood is pretty much right in the middle of the bible belt, and shirts like this will offend people. On top of that, despite their "pacifistic" natures, there are several people of religious bent who are not only willing, but unafraid of demonstrating their level of objection physically.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  151. DollyBird

    Sounds like someone is trying to scope out their 15 minutes of fame.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  152. Joe

    So – to the woman with the t-shirt – What if i wore a shirt that said 'Lesbians are so gay'. Would you be offended?

    How about next time you just wear normal clothes and not try to rile people up. Thats the problem I have with th gay community you spend too much time trying to be annoying. Just go enjoy your life and i'll enjoy mine.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  153. Melrose

    And now the world has to become gay up just because? Go to an island and be gay forever without the inconvenience of encountering straight people on your way! I'm free to be intolerant why the H E L L do we have to tolerate anything or anyone, for the sake of what exactly????

    August 4, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  154. bbaggins

    Is it to much to ask to be able to take your family on vacation to a theme park and just relax? We pay a lot of money to go to these places to have a good time and just relax. So how about taking that chip off of your shoulder for a few hours and just leave your crap at home. The majority of us just want to enjoy a day without any politics or unsolicited opinions. But not to worry we will see your bumper stickers on the way home.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  155. Chris

    The rule is perfectly ok, the host was right to enforce it, and Ms Parton owes no apology. The shirt was controversial and is clearly meant to poke. Live your life anyway you want to, just get out of my face with it. This goes for gays, christians, overweight middle-age white men, nudists, eskimos, etec. etc. etc.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  156. humanbean

    Stop with the apologies Dolly! This is ridiculous! I'm all for g@y marriage and g@y rights, but those two women did this on purpose. You can't please some of these people even if you try. They get mad because people use slurs and then want to wear a shirt like this, which to the average person could be construed as offensive by the very same people who are wearing said shirts because the average person doesn't necessarily understand the message. You can't have it both ways, especially when you enter an amusement park that leans conservative.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  157. Bob

    Try wearing a "Gay Is Wrong" t-shirt through San Fransisco and see how evenly applied your first amendment rights are.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  158. Derek

    Dollywood is privately owned. They have their own rules, and you have to follow them if your going in there. She should have known better to wear something like that into a family orriented place.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  159. while shopping

    I bought an "open box" dvd player. Asked salesman y it was open, it was a return. Bought it. After hooking it up, noticed a dvd was in it. Wanting to make sure my open boxed player worked ok, I just used the dvd that was in it. (Mind u, I never had a problem with gay folks) Much to my surprise, the dvd was a g a y mans dvd. I was never so disgusted in my life! That is so gross, I thought I was going to vomit ! I broke that dvd into a hundred pieces ! I think g a y s are SICK ! There is nothing normal about it, sick sick sick. All u sick ppl will rot in u know where ! SICK ! I will NEVER understand how or y anybody could be THAT WAY !

    August 4, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  160. JAM


    August 4, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  161. itsallgood70

    I can't believe grown adults still wear t-shirts with sayings on them. I thought that kind of attire was only worn by teens.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  162. CarolStrick

    What a lovely apology! My respect for Dolly continues. The tee shirt in question doesn't seem a problem to me, but I don't operate a park in rural Tennessee, where I can see such sentiments upsetting some folks. The park seems to have a satisfactory way of dealing with potential problems (free tee offered), and as long as a big production wasn't made that would embarrass anyone, I don't see any real probs here.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  163. CD

    Why are people apologizing? It is a private business and is allowed to enforce their own rules. Don't like it? Do not go. The person was doing their job. Period. Gay marriage is offensive and morally wrong. Our country and state are heading down a bad path. What people do behind their closed bedroom door is their business, I do not care. But marriage – no!

    August 4, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  164. Censorship is so Nazi

    What will you think will happen when I show up wearing a "Censorship is soooo Nazi" shirt?

    August 4, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  165. heyitsme

    Um, look at what it's done here........ and this is a board on the net. Coupled with the fact that Dollywood is DEEP in the heart of the bible belt. Do not tell me this would not have caused issues – because it would have. People need to learn that simply because you believe something, someone else may or maynot believe it. And reading over the comments – if they are this ignorant, then you better believe they would do something stupid in person. GET OVER IT – this kid didn't want trouble. That's it. Quit making everything out to be more then what it is.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  166. ginamero

    She should not have apologized...even gay people need to adhere to dress codes...they are not special. Why apologize for keeping everyone happy? I have lost respect for Dolly...there are even commercials that tell you you can't say gay or that something is gay,,,,that it's wrong and hurtful....but the gay woman thinks she can do it at a family place and it's ok because she's gay? Get over yourself, can't have it both ways....or in this case I guess they get whatever they cry for

    August 4, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  167. Mary

    Even though I agree with the woman's sentiments about gay marriage, she showed poor taste in her selection of T-shirt. She knew very well that such a selection would attract attention, and not necessarily the best kind.

    This reminds me of a time when I had a casual dinner date. He arrived wearing a T-shirt with a huge marijuana leaf on it. Like him, I happen to be pro-legalization, but I asked him to change the T-shirt anyway because I didn't want us attracting that kind of attention. This also reminds me of those who have a bumper sticker reading: "You can't be Christian and pro-choice." These could be considered "fighting words."

    When you purposely choose to advertise your controversial views in the public place, you are just asking for trouble.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  168. Wayne

    This is one of those things that just is not avoidable sometimes. The park personal was doing their jobs and perhaps could be fired/dismissed for allowing entering with that T-Shirt on. On the other hand Marriage (True Marriage) Marriage that is a union between two people is strong & it was not too seriously profanity based. "Gay" mean happy but some people take it as easy, boring, lazy, but all that can be true in some marriages too. It's not what the T-Shirt reads. it's the mind frame and the dedication people put into marriages. If allowed in the park perhaps they would meet cool married couples and realize that some marriages are solid and full of joy/love. You know we think one thing today and another tomorrow. Weird thing that occurred. On the other hand these places with dress codes have to enforce their policies.
    Growing up I attended some places that did not let you enter if they did not like you or felt you were not appropriately dressed for the occasion. Better to have just a photo on you T-Shirt if any perhaps. See "Statements are advertising what your mind frame is but at the same time ignore the T-Shirt if you don't like it. Sounds like a Seinfeld show.. The T-Shirt one. Well they said sorry that that means something. Forgive and enjoy life..

    August 4, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  169. Taioseach

    I don't agree with what the host did, but Dollywood is in Pigeon Forge TN and it may very well have been to protect the person in question from physical and verbal abuse. Tennessee isn't the most progressive of states.

    Southern States are not the most "tolerant" of anything that's not what they consider normal.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  170. Ballocks

    Maybe the park people believed the phrase was aimed at being discriminatory towards gays? With everything in the world now setting off the politically correct radar in the gay community, who knows what's the appropriate action when an ambiguous message is displayed involving gays.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  171. Conrad Shull

    Dolly's cool.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  172. steve

    The headline said Dollywood and Tshirt incident. I thought I was gonna see Dollys boobies. Bummer.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  173. K.T.

    Dolly Parton is the best! She is a genuinely nice person who always tries to right the wrongs. I am no fan of country music but having lived near Pigeon Forge for a decade, I can say that Dolly always gives her money and time to the community. She is smart, fair, loyal and a good example of the wonderful people that come from east Tennessee. (Oh, and divorce is gay too.)

    August 4, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  174. Mike

    There is nothing"gay" about being gay. The t-shirt flap is just more United Junior High School of America nonsense. She probably wants cash then she'll be happy.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  175. itsallgoodnroanoke,I think!

    No problem, Rules are rules. Yes, you have those fools who have to have the last word. And you have those who wants 10 minutes of fame! Like the one who complained!

    August 4, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  176. Suzanne

    "We do have a policy about profanity or controversial messages on clothing or signs." Obviously, this shirt qualified as controversial (which the guest MUST have known), and that's why the guest was asked to turn it inside out. No apology was necessary. The message on the shirt clearly violated a standing policy.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  177. capnmike

    We sometimes forget that amusement parks, concert halls, bars, and restaurants, are NOT PUBLIC PROPERTY. They are privately owned, and clientele are there at the sufferance of the ownership. If the owner or management bars someone from coming in (except of course in racial cases) IT IS THEIR RIGHT AND PRIVELEGE! If they don't like the way you are dressed...too bad. Tough cookies. Live with it. Go change your clothes.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  178. Growski

    At the end of the day, its a fact, Marriage is so gay... Anyone offended by that is ignorant and probably believes a bearded man is floating in space reading their minds as well. Do not listen to crazy people like that...

    August 4, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  179. Peter

    The woman and her "wife"? Fine, they have some sort of relationship, but it isn't marriage. There's no such thing as wife and wife in marriage. The fact that the only words that fit are spouse and spouse should be a little hint. I just hope that Dolly would now equally let someone in with a t-shirt that reads "Gay "marriage" is so delusional".

    August 4, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • judywire

      What we are seeing is light trying to shine over darkness and darkness fighting to cover the light but in the end, light will stand out.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  180. Notgay


    Marriage is so gay... can be taken either way, either one does not care for marriage or gay people should be able to marry. When I read the statement I was thinking about the former. My point being frank statements may bring negative comments but I do have a right to wear my shirt but also I know the negativity willfully increases with controversial subjects.The gay topic has been pushing full force especially in the past few years, folks are more open to it but there are still people that believe that this way of living is immoral. Personally it does not do much for me. I think Dolly's apology was okay and the reasoning is sound but appearing personally at every hurt feeling is a bit of a stretch. Boycotting and raising banners in a family venue is a bit misplaced. She said that she feels strongly for gays and that is great but the march for gayism is NOT hers to bear. If she was flaming herself I can see her going the mile but like I said before, that march is yours not hers. You have a right as a human being to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is fine well and good but don't make others sorry that they see you coming, it does not solve a thing. If the gay life style is what you choose then live it. There are reasons why people are not bending to the "gay coming" it is just not their schtick. There are places I still cannot walk nor show my face because of what I look like, but it does not keep me from living life. If anyone has a problem with me it is THEIR problem. There are concerts, gay pride parades all kinds of things that can appeal to you and others, attend them feel good when you are around like minds do your thing... but elbowing, forcing your ideals in areas that are less flexible will get just what you came for and it is not for the better. It will only serve to embarrass and set the media ablaze and of course the very people that you want acceptance from will be even more fleeting. I would have thought that you want people to understand your way. If you opened a place called Gaywood and I wore a shirt that said "Gays are crazy" and the same thing happened. Would your apology be sincere? Then I would want to post banners and demonstrate that gay people are psychotic, would you want to be apologetic to me then? Dolly opened Dollywood as a place that reflects Tennessee's culture, a way of life indicative of the area's history. Yes, gays are there but gay is not a culture because it crosses racial lines. Gays have their battles but guess what, other folks have their battles too.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  181. Maverick

    There was nothing "free speech" about this...the message was nothing more than an attempt at inciting controversy. There is a difference between the two, but those with an agenda use the First Amendment cry to attempt to instigate that controversy. Decency, taste, and decorum should dictate how one should present oneself. To be "outrageous" for the sake of being outrageous is not standing out but being rediculous.

    A person's lifestyle is their choice and they have a right to it, but people need to stop shoving it into other's faces and down throats. You want to be accepted? Back off the rhetoric and just BE.

    August 4, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  182. We Are Doomed

    How bout a "Straight Pride Parade"??? Also Federal Gov't does not run private business.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  183. Melissa

    Wish they would just ban all gays.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Too many straight people on this planet.
      They ruin it for the rest of us.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  184. Noble9

    Quit crying. It's private property, they can enforce whatever standards they want.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  185. r l

    No one should be offended when I wear my shirt that says:"Gay marriage won't make you happy or your relationships magically work like they say it's going to. If you were unhappy before you're still going to be unhappily gay married. Social acceptance isn't going to change the fact that GBLT relationships are mostly disposable by their own admission and community design." You can't force or legislate relational happiness but man are they wasting a lot of life and time trying. No one should discriminate but most people see through the lies on this issue. GBLT's just want to have fun and for those who think they want something like a marriage go for civil unions-it makes gay divorce way cheaper and easier.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      "GBLT relationships are mostly disposable." So I guess that's why my cousin have been in a relationship with one woman for over 20 years.

      God, how I hate small-minded people like you! Especially someone who talks a load of b******t that they know nothing about.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  186. Betty

    Everything about freedom of expression could be considered controversial. The policy needs to change.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  187. andy

    I am gay and I think the T Shirt was uncalled for. There is no sense or need in inciting people's discomfort. I wouldn't want to see "Marriage is is so Straight" either.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  188. Greg D

    The tem "DollyWood" offends me. They shouldn't allow THAT on a t-shirt.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  189. Greg D

    I am offended by the phrase "DollyWood". That should not be allowed on a T-Shirt there.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  190. Megan

    I just think this is a no win situation. If something had happened to the wearer of the shirt people would be crying out. Since they had it turned inside there was an uproar. If they didnt there may have been an uproar. Like I said no win. Either way someone was going to say something. Its just sad that this had to be an issue period. I been to Dollywood and it is a very family little kid friendly place.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  191. Their rules

    Isn't there currently a big advertising push to stop using the word gay in this manner. I've seen numerous commercials asking that we stop using terms like "that movie was so gay, or that article was so gay." So what's the problem? Based on the advertising and the stance taken by, what I can only assume is a gay rights organization, this T-shirt IS offensive. I'm supportive of gay rights but they need to step up in support of Dollywood in this case. That is unless their position is that it's offensive only when straight people say it.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  192. Bill

    At least there is one normal person on this earth.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  193. jayman419

    Nowhere on the site for Splash Mountain does it discuss a policy about "controversial messages". The only limitations on your clothing beyond safety considerations (like no rivets on your swimwear, ect) is a ban on profanity. Which means Dolly must think marriage is a 4-letter word.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  194. rdp

    I now pronouce you wife and wife, husband and husband, now that's gay!

    August 4, 2011 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  195. gazza

    It's a private facility – they can enforce whatever dress code they want.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  196. Jatodog

    What do you expect from an amusement park that doesn't serve alcohol.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  197. Please!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get out of bed, take a shower, get dressed, go to WORK, and live your life!! Take care of YOUR family!!! I have never seen such a waste of time on both sides!! Coffee will help also!! Have a great day:)

    August 4, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      So, we can assume that you typed this while stuck in traffic on your morning commute to the office?

      August 4, 2011 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  198. hecinla

    I'm tired of all this Politically Correct Bulls**t! I don't care if your gay! That's your business. I do care that you are married. Marriage is suppose to be between a woman and a man but that's my opinion and I have a right to it. I don't go wearing it on my chest in protest. The courts ruled you can be and that's fine. But stop rubbing it in my face (ie. teeshirts, billboards, tv shows, etc)!
    Oh yea, Dollywood has a written policy... Why should they opoligize?

    August 4, 2011 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  199. the smiths

    The gays have taken the world hostage, while the quest not to lose fans and money has become victims. Why apology? I think Boko Haram (no western education) are right with their message perhaps not their deeds. Western education (not really against reading and writing) is screwing the world and turning things upside down. This is natural mystic, blowing through the air. If you listen carefully you will hear!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      I am gay and i have taken your world hostage.
      Send me one millions dollars in unmarked bills and you can have your world back.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  200. Proud2BTexan

    I for one am saddened that Dolly buckled under the pressure of these people. No matter how much people try to convince me, I'll never think of "gay" as being natural, same as molesting children or animals isn't natural. The only difference with being gay compared to being a molester is enough gay people convinced our country (and states) that it's not a perversion, even though at one time it was unlawful to be gay (and still is in other counties). Be a freak if you want to, but don't expect my support!

    August 4, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Betty

      I also think being a redneck hilljack is a perversion but that is just my opinion

      August 4, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Cynic

      Ignorant bigot. Everyone knows that most gays, like most straights, are not molesters. They have a right to a loving relationship with another consenting adult, just because they are human beings. Most girls are molested by straight men at least once before the age of 18. Do we assume by this that ALL straight men molest young girls?

      August 4, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Lucky for us all, what you personally consider gay to be doesn't affect what it actually is.

      Where the heck do you get that "most" girls are molested by straight men by age 18? Can I see a citation to that study?

      August 7, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  201. Tyedye

    Dolly is a class act. She is probably one of the most sincere entertainers out there.

    August 4, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  202. Nick

    Wear an "Obama – 4 more years" or "Jesus Saves!" shirt. It will not be removed.

    The shirt was removed because of the subject matter which happens to be controversial, not solely because it was controversial.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  203. Nick

    Although I think this whole thing is being blown out of proportion, I don't buy the comments that are saying it happened solely because it's controversial.

    If someone was wearing a "Jesus Saves" or "Palin 2012" or "Obama 4 more years" it would not get censored. The shirt was not removed because it's controversial, it was removed because of the subject matter, which just happens to be controversial.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  204. Nokat

    Gays should have stayed in the closet where they belong.
    They make all sorts of demands as if all authority is theirs now and apparently this country has caved in to their dementia.
    This country better take its roots back. The gays running rampant are no better than letting rats take over your home.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  205. jd

    I believe in live and let live that women was in the wrong i will admit that but some of these comments on here are so rude and the sad part is several of u claim to be christians the church i attend dont mind what u come to church in as long as u come they are not two faced people who will split hell wide open haven't u ever heard do unto others as u would have them do unto u i mean WOW!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  206. oldboldgold

    It was controversial and had no place in a theme park that specifically requests no controversial sayings on T-shirts. People trying to have fun... and someone comes in with a chip on her shoulder and acts out.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  207. Grandpa RD

    I'm going to make a T-Shirt that reads "This Shirt is Controversial" and wear it the next time I go to Dollywood. What do you guys think will happen over THAT?

    August 4, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  208. ukanduet

    There should be no apology needed, Dolly. Glamorizing gay is part of the problem in this world, not a part of the solution. Political correctness be damned.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  209. CrazyClown

    The World is FedUp with all this in your face GAY BS,, if your Gay, so what go back in your pathetic closet and stay there, quit shoving your pathetic sicko' lifestyle in the populations face unless you want a back lash, want special privilages for your lifestyle , then go to prision, you'll have plenty of opportunity to get special privilages for your Special Lifestyle there !! End of Debate !

    August 4, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Yup Crazyclown

      I will stop shoving my gay life down your throat
      when you stop forcing your straight life down my throat.
      I am an AMERICAN CITIZEN.....This is MY country too.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  210. gavin Ford

    Glad to see that Dolly herself is on the side of what is right: equality

    August 4, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  211. fbmarky

    What they really need to ban is pig-fat chicks wearing tube tops. It's enough to make a straight guy consider an alternative lifestyle.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  212. ferrari

    marriage is so gay sounds like it would be a comment against marraige and using the term gay incorrectly to mean bad or something...

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  213. Kim lynch

    In the South not everything is accepted! Just a fact!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
    • fbmarky

      Which is why no one outside the south accepts the south. It's just where we keep most of our losers.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  214. ledzeppelinsux

    Dolly Parton sux! She is a lip synch fraud. I saw her Millie Vanillie moment in Golden Gate Park years ago.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  215. Zakaria

    The shirt is controversial and an amusement park is not a venue to be airing your political views, whatever they might be. How do you think this woman and her family would feel if they came across someone in the park with a shirt that said 'Adam & Eve...Not Adam & Steve.' When I see bumper stickers for yes on prop 8 it saddens me but I must understand that for some people the no on prop 8 stickers hurt. The open road is an open forum, but keep politics away from a place reserved for fun. I'm gay and I think was inappropriate, though the park could have handled it with more tact.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  216. ROFLCatDown

    I'm pretty sure I liked Dollywood better when it was still called Silver Dollar City. Nothing against the woman personally, I think she's great, but I felt the place had more class back then.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  217. Thomas

    Dolly is one classy LADY !

    August 4, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  218. Desert Squirrel

    This woman knew what she was doing. If she pro-gay she has a right to say so, however there's a place and time to do so. What if some was wearing a shirt that placed their race above others. This is family park, think before you act.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  219. Tim Liao

    I am so confused why this is the front page story on CNN. With all the stuff going on in the country this is what CNN wants us to focus on.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  220. Sue

    Let's see, a woman shows up at a family park with her wife, and her t-shirt that says marriage is gay is controversial? If you believe that her shirt is an inflammatory political message, then her presence with her partner is a statement in itself. So, basically the park employee was saying "turn your shirt inside out and we will pretend that you two aren't together." Talk about offensive. It wasn't about safety, because redneck bigots would harass the poor couple with or without a statement on a t-shirt.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  221. Boba Phett

    Remember when America was not over run by ignorant hate filled people that can only quote the bible?

    August 4, 2011 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  222. Gezellig

    But wait a minute; hasn't the LGBT community been fighting against the "That's so gay" comments as being hurtful? Yet is not this t-shirt a variant of this type of comment? Oh, and by the way, your first amendment rights apply only to your relationship with your government. It does not give you rights in relation to your employment or attendance at a theme park.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  223. waldopg3

    No need to apologize Dolly, it is an offending t-shirt.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  224. From Dollywood to Hollywood

    Oh, the irony of this entire incident. Dolly, it's time to come out of the closet.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  225. james

    If not being able to display your shirts message ruins your day than the park did the right thing. If it is that important and someone makes a rude comment it will obviously lead to trouble

    August 4, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  226. Hosagi

    Looking over the past few years ive noticed that we need to attach an asterisk to the end of the First Amendment. The reason behind this is so we can add a sub-clause that will read: As long as you don't offend someone. There is only 1 comment that Faux News Channel has said in reguarde to situations like this(and which i agree with) and that is Political Correctness is killing America. Everyday we have to go through life watching what we say cause we don't want to hurt someones feelings.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  227. Hein

    Dolly Parton is a class act. All the way.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  228. Xotchil

    Here's the's a stupid T-shirt. It's a stupid saying on the T-shirt. "Marriage is so gay." Come on folks, that's stupid. Why doesn't the woman wear a T-shirt that simply reads, "I'm so gay" instead. That would make more sense.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  229. kazz


    August 4, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  230. MJ

    Ms. Dolly Parton is one classy lady and a national treasure and her statement shows it. I don't agree with what happened at Dollywood to this couple, sure dress codes need to exist since some people have no idea what to wear in public but this was not one of those cases... However it seems like they have been doing their best to make it right, so its all cool. People make mistakes all the time, its how they deal with the outcome that really shows character.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  231. SB

    In their rush to make this non-issue an issue, many people seem to be overlooking the fact that the intention of the saying on the t-shirt is ambiguous at best. It reads like the kind of thing you would admonish a teenager for saying: "_blank_ is so gay!", where gay is meant to mean negative. That's not what it's wearer had in mind, clearly. But can you really blame some poor park employee for playing it safe? When in doubt, keep the peace. That's all that happened here. No one's rights or views are being suppressed.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  232. justIn

    All this talk about what laws are there for governments allowing.. it's a mute point. This was a private establishment. No matter what side you support. The FACT here is that these people were lucky to get an apology from Dolly. Private is private and the government isn't going to change what Dollywood allows. This lady should just consider herself lucky that she was still allowed in the park.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  233. wb

    Why do people feel like they have to be walking billboards anyway? Like anybody really cares what you think about anything. Are you that needy for attention? If you're going to Dollywood to have fun, do everyone including yourself a favor and leave your boring political agenda at home.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  234. Beefburger

    If they want to wear those shirts then perhaps you should wear them to K.D. Lang World.

    The majority of the country, that is still sane, still understands that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      The last poll i saw (CNN last week of July)
      56 % of Americans approved of gay rights.
      Things are starting to change.
      Dont get left behind.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  235. TP

    A logical move by the park... lot of rednecks and average joes there who could take offense... and the safety of the wearer would be at risk. Great that Dolly make a comment, not leaving it to a press secratary or minion. One Great Lady for the gays as well as everyone else. And great bar-b-que pork at the park!

    August 4, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  236. me

    It don't think people running the park can even read. They probably just wanted for here to take off her shirt. Duhhh

    August 4, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  237. Jim Brown

    This entire comment board shows the matter is controversial and that the park representative was correct.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  238. Brian

    So you're gay. So what. OK,it's cool. You be you,I'll be me.Just tone it down.It seems like since some states have decided to recognize gay marriages,etc. that the gay & lesbian community has become more and more flamboyant. OK,we recognize your marriage to your partner,sir.Now please untie your shirt and put on something other than the Daisy Duke shorts,FFS

    August 4, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  239. Tiredof PC-BS

    So, here's what I don't understand – for the past 6 months or so, severl public service announcement ads have played on television which depict several famous people conveying the message ". . . to say that something is 'gay' is mean and hurtful whether you intend it to be or not . . ." yet, these two guests of a theme park were doing the exact thing that the announcement was warning against. Here is yet another example of groups not even agreeing on the foundations of their own messages. I'm just so sick of the whole PC issue. Ya know what??!! Everyone needs to get over themselves and stop being so offended by everything – if you don't like how people react to you then either don't hang out with those people anymore, ignore them, or change whatever is making you stand out and offend others – end of story. AL sides need to quit whining about such insignificant problems in their lives. If your worst worry every day is whether or not people will offend you or find you offensive, believe me, life could be worse – if you actually had to worry where your next meal was coming from or how you were gonna take a bath today – then maybe I'd feel sympathetic. Until then, SHUT the H-E-double hockey sticks UP!!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  240. Brendan

    Dolly has to balls up and stand by her staff. The t-shirt was inappropriate for a family theme park. Management acted appropriately. The term "gay" was used in a derogatory manner.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

      Agreed. Maybe I should wear a shirt that says gay marriage is stupid then walk into a gay bar...I'll raise a complaint when they kick me out. You think they'll apologize?

      August 4, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  241. USA

    Apologize for what? Defending the sensibilities of others? The shirt was wrong to flaunt a wicked perverse lifestyle that has killed millions with Aids and sends more to hell. Yes, it is offensive.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ophile

      Gay marriage does not promote AIDS – it actually prevents AIDS in that these are monogamous partners. They are not having multiple partners which would increase the exposure to HIV/AIDS. You need to be educated and not allow yourself to be driven by your ignorance and fear.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Please change your screen name, as you do NOT represent the rest
      of America.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  242. ciscoheat

    You know, as much as I am for gay rights...even I can see that there could be some controversy over the shirt. I have a shirt that says "Abstinence, 99.99% effective" and a picture of the virgin Mary with baby Jesus. I think is funny...but I also know its a tad bit controversial. Point being...its ok to wear the shirt, but realize it may be controversial. I actually think they would bar the shirt that says "Marriage is between a man and a women" as well. Now please, lets quite crying about every little feeling being hurt!

    August 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  243. cpc65

    Regardless of your gender preference, have a little class when you go out in public.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  244. Bootgirl

    ... having said that, I believe Elizabeth speaks to the reality of the situation and agree with her on all counts. There are people (childish idiots who can't control themselves) who will cause bodily harm to another who says-wears a t-shirt-holds a sign about something they simply don't agree with. But I see this as a different problem.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  245. Bootgirl

    A few lessons I learned while growing up that have served me well:
    1. Turn the other cheek.
    2. If you ignore them, they will go away.
    3. I am responsible for my own actions and feelings. (really? a t-shirt MADE you upset? grow up.)

    And now a practical example:
    Ignore the Westboro Baptist Church. No media attention, no counter protesters, not a peep. Bye Bye.

    And a bonus thought.
    Living in a truly free society while wanting to control the msg others wear on a t-shirt is an oxymoron (and just childish). Just sayin'.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  246. Mary Ann


    August 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  247. Billy Bob


    August 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  248. Andyvon

    "The woman was attending ......with her wife!" Excuse me? Her wife! You really have become a very bad joke USA! No wonder the rest of the world now hates you.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bootgirl

      I have a wife and when we visited Dolly wood she was still my wife. Isn't that what your wife would be?
      I don't get it.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • hk


      This is 21st century. Get a life. Get educated. Learn about people. Learn to accept. Be wise. If you do, your life will be much sweeter.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      The rest of the world does not hate us.
      We are just playing Catch up.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  249. Chris

    It's just freaking WORDS on a freaking T-SHIRT. What should have been done about it? Absolutely nothing.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bootgirl

      Just when I thought there weren't any other adults in this crowd... I like you Chris!

      August 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  250. Brad

    How dare this woman try and tell me that my marriage is gay? There is nothing gay about it. My sorrow knows no bounds. 🙁

    August 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  251. allajoke

    You people in the rich countries have no real u keep creating new ones, take them as a challenge and go on headon collission trying to solve them and satisfying yourself. Just complete waste of time..thats what happens if an individual or a society gets successful in a very short period of time..they dont know what to do with their free time.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  252. me

    How about I make a t-shirt that says, "Marriage is so obsolete".. Then everybody will be happy.

    Yeah such a "controversial" issue. It's one of those fringe issues that cynical bottom feeders like Karl Rove use to split people apart and distract them from them important things (like the fact that a certain presidential candidate whose name starts with a 'B' has the IQ of a wilted carrot).

    Same with abortion, and prayer in schools. Just mentioning these topics brings out the nutjobs in force. See, if you are too busy spouting your opinion about The True Nature of Love, then you aren't debating tax reform. I think people need to recognize when they are being used like tools. Gay marriage is yet another case of this. Wake up and recognize this is the 21st century, not the 1st century. People accuse Muslims of wanting to live in the 1200's, but these same wingnuts then insist that we have a literal interpretation of the Bible. Pathetic!

    People, these problems are non-starters. To deny this is to deny all progress for the last 2000+ years of human civilization. These problems should be _solved_ by now. They should be _hundreds_ of years behind us. Can we _please_ move on to something that actually matters? Like maybe feeding the hungry, and ending our petty, meaningless conflicts, and treating each other with kindness and respect by default...? PLEASE??

    August 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnythingGoes

      I am going to Dollywood this weekend and I have a shirt that says "Dolly Parton's knockers are so big; you could have a gay wedding on them!" I hope she won't be offended!

      August 4, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  253. Pey

    I wonder if people wear t-shirts that say "Jesus saves" will they be asked to turn them inside out? Those shirts are very controversial and cause great discomfort to the many folks who don't share the same view. Yet somehow, we have to accept it. Doesn't make sense to me.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      Amen to that, Pey...

      August 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bootgirl

      @Pey. You do realize you have control over what you feel and believe right? Just because someone wears a t-shirt that says "Jesus Saves" doesn't mean it's true (or not) or that you have to believe it (or not). It's simply a message they want to convey. That's the joy of being an adult. You have control over your reaction to that message. You can spend as little or as much time considering it as you feel it deserves in you life. Expecting others to only provide you with messages you agree with and are comfortable with is unreasonable and IMHO childish in it's true sense.
      This is a good test. How will you respond? Don't ever give your power away.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Christian girl

      Jesus does save ~ true statement not controversial, there is proof in the bible.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • BrianQ

      @Christian Girl: being in the bible doesn't prove anything. the only evidence you have for the bible being "true" is that the bible says it is true. that's like me saying "I'm infallible and I can prove it... because I said it!" the bible was written by men, long after Christ was dead, and translated from language to language, edited and structured to suit the purposes of those that were doing the translating, editing, and structuring. i have no problem with people looking at the words attributed to Christ and trying to live a life that aspires to be in line with those words... most of what Christ supposedly said is pretty beautiful and amazing stuff. but get real, the book was not written by Christ, but by humans motivated by all the same flaws, fears, political motives, and prejudices that motivate human beings today. there is no "proof" in any religion. you can believe it or not, that's up to you, but you don't get to use it as an excuse to control or push around others. we all have a right to live life as we see fit. there are LOTS of things and people and behavior in the world that I don't agree with, but you living your life in a way that i think is foolish, ugly, hateful or annoying is your right... unless you're hurting someone else or infringing on the actual workings of my life, i don't get to tell you not to be foolish, ugly, hateful or annoying. but i sure wish you and "you people" were different.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  254. Jimbo


    August 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  255. D


    When in Rome do as the Romans do. It may not be controversial in CT but it is in other states. If I wore a shirt in CT that displayed the Confederate flag wouldn`t that be controversial. And no, I`m not from the south but I do respect the way things are done in other states, countries, etc.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  256. FlyGuyInSJ


    Who gets to decide what's controversial and what's not? Dollywood does. Their park, their dress code, their rules. Many places have dress codes. Some are very loose – no shirt, no shoes, no service – and some are very tight – jacket and tie required. In all cases, the establishment gets to decide what is appropriate attire. If we don't like it, we take our money somewhere else. If enough people do so, they will either decide their dress code no longer makes economic sense, or they won't and will accept lower revenues or maybe go out of business.

    In any case, that's their choice, not yours or mine.

    August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  257. Debbie

    Personally I think the real problem, is not who is wearing the shirt, but what the shirt says..
    Since it is in the best interest of the Park Guests, and it is a family oriented park, than anyone who is wearing clothing with a potential offensive message., should not wear this garment. I believe the Park employee was doing his/her job to the best of their ability. Dolly Parton should have nothing to feel embarrassed about for having rules in place that protect Park Guests.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bullet

      Dolly could not care less about anyones feelings one way or the other, all she cares about is how much it adds to or subtracts from her bottom line. just like all the other so- called country singers they want to make folks think they are just ordinary folks and were raisd by poor people away back in the hills, while in reality, they got lucky and someone gave them a break into show business and made Zillionaires out of them. Now they are Republicans, pay no taxes, and make fun of the poor, dumb fans that pay out the yazoo to watch them whine and yodel.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  258. Tai

    I find that shirt to be highly inappropriate and offensive!! Marriage is NOT gay so the statement makes no sense. In many parts of this country, wearing that shirt would be inviting a beat down or worse. If she really just wanted to go to DW and have a good time she should not have worn that shirt; perhaps a nice sun dress or a nice blouse would have been a better decision instead of trying to push your perversions on good Christian folk. Next time save that kinda of stuff for your pride parade.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noble9

      Agreed. That kind of in your face gay propaganda detracts from other people's enjoyment, people who paid for tickets too. If you want to make a public statement about your preferences in the bedroom, there are better forums than a family-oriented park.

      August 4, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • fedup

      No doubt you mean inviting a "beat down or worse" by those "good Christian folk" i.e. Self- righteous bigots & hypocrites

      August 4, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  259. DarkMarcsun

    Here's the problem I have with the entire incident. On the one hand you have the gay community pressuring the NBA to run their "don't say that's so gay" during the Finals in response to several gay bashing comments made by NBA players during the postseason. Fine. I have no issue with that. But you can't then as the same group turn around and use ".... is so gay" on a tshirt and expect to get a free pass on the offensivity front any more than a black guy should get a free pass with an n-word carrying tshirt.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      One lady had this shirt on and you are blaming the whole group ????

      Just amazing.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  260. SurRy

    I see no reason to venture below M-D line.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  261. LavaADV

    This is very similar to telling christians they aren't allowed to put up christmas trees. Except the christians are actually nice.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Name one Christian anywhere who was ever told they could
      not put up a christmas tree.
      Freaking MORON !!!!!!!!!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  262. Paul

    I want Dolly to turn HER shirt inside out.....while I watch!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  263. Debbie

    Maybe the park should have a policy that states no pictures or words on clothing that way they can be sure no one is offended!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiredof PC-BS

      @ Debbie: Actually, that's exactly what several PUBLIC schools have chosen as a solution to the same problem – they now have uniforms with plain white shirts and kahki slacks or skirts and plain white or black shoes. No pics, words, or logos. But, this was a private property and so the owner gets to decide who may enter based on how they are addressed just like any night club that keeps people outside if they are not dressed "cool" enough or a restaurant that denies entry to someone now wearing a tie. Just because WalMart lets everyone in the doors no matter what they are wearing (or NOT wearing, but should be) doesn't mean that all business owners should have to do the same.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Tiredof PC-BS

      Pardon my typo – should have read as "dressed" not ADdressed.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black


      Dollywood is going to have to change its policy
      hundreds of people will now show up with bad shirts
      just to get a freebie.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  264. Shawn Davis

    Dolly is a class act.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  265. DoubleStandard

    So let's see. We see commercials on TV where two kids are joking, one says "That's so gay" to something, and we get a big lecture on how that's hate speech and hurtful. So if nothing else, the policy should have stood as the shirt was, according to the gay and lesbian community, hate speech. The fact that it was speaking in support of gay marriage is irrelevant.

    For the record, I am in support of gay rights and gay marriage, but I am not in support of double standards.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spike

      Thank you. AS a gay man i was disgusted that these two were using a double standard to supposedly make a point. You blew it ladies.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  266. Will

    The embarrassing part is being seen at DOLLYWOOD!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  267. Balk

    Reading this article was pretty gay

    August 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  268. Nate

    I don't necessarily have a problem with the shirt, still America and Freedom of Speech is our given right. My problem/concern is that this has become such a hot topic in the media because a lesbian couple brought it out into the publics eye by using the media. I'm straight, I chose to wear the shirt, and was told to turn it inside out/change it and then cried foul in some media forum, my story wouldn't have gained much traction at all in any. I take issue with the couple using their status to, in the end, get what they wanted is all.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  269. Fred WaffleBum

    My pants are dirty from the end results of me digesting a taco. It's green with specks of blue, which concerns me. It smells wonderful though. I'm considering using it as a topping for a sandwich. Anyone have any ideas?

    August 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  270. Susan

    Now is such a sad time in US history. Instead of progressing and becoming smarter, we're regressing.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  271. pam

    i find it interesting that the gay community is simultaneously on a campaign to eliminate the cavalier use of the word "gay" (to describe something that is uncool or lame i.e. "the smurfs movie is so gay") while members of that community walk around in shirts that use the term in the same way... yes, i get that it's sarcasm and/or irony but doesn't it defeat the purpose? by the way, i'm straight, i fully support gay marriage, i have many gay and lesbian friends and i think that DOMA is super gay... er, i mean, lame.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  272. indigo

    You have no right to go to Dollywood. They can deny you access for any reason they want, even if you disagree with it. Be an adult. Writing some whiny email bothering Dolly is pathetic. Personally, I find the t-shirt to be troublesome. Just try to explain it to some 7 year old, it's ackward. course, it's really impossible to explain to a child why one guy thinks that he's the Son of God. how ridiculous is that!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  273. disco_fever

    The shirt could have been easily interpreted by the host as offensive to gays. The word gay as used in the context of that shirt IS the defacto way to use that word offensively. I could easily see someone not initially getting the double meaning behind that phrase. Most seem to be assuming it was an anti-gay action. For all we know, the host who refused their entry could be gay. I seriously don't understand someone calling up a private company to complain in this situation. Its kinda gay.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  274. Lee Cherry

    That Tee-shirt is offensive. Its and insult to the Creator,who created marriage between a man and a women. God dont make junk. A mans heart is after a woman, before sin, disobedience entered into the heat of man. Its called the"mystery of iniquity" So next time you think about appearing in public with an insulting, offensive message across your chest, remember the Creator is writing it in the Books of Heaven.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • fedup

      The t-shirt may be offensive to you, but your ridiculous, beliefs in fairy tales and made-up arbitrary rules is offensive to me.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      God created gay people, you have just insulted god.
      His wrath will be here shortly.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  275. josh

    Its a private owned park with their own particular guidelines and policies. They are in East TN, so the people interpreting and enforcing these policies are of a particular mindset of a typical east tennesseean. I don't see as they did anything out of the ordinary.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  276. r

    So I guess a t shirt that reads 38-25-36 is out of the question too.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  277. Fran182

    How about everyone just wear the shirt they want, and everyone just chill. So what if someone wears a shirt you don't agree with? It doesn't matter. Its just a shirt with writing on it. Not everyone has to think the same thing. If someone wears a shirt that is offensive to me I'll just think 'okay – that tells me something about the person wearing it'.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  278. Captain Reality

    A kid wearing the T-Shirt with "Marriage is so Gay", or change the word MARRIAGE to anything or anyone else being "so gay" on a T-Shirt and I know for sure most public and nearly all private schools in the US would send the child home, for the safety of that child and the children around him/her.

    Using that logic you can certainly understand the possible controversy and liability issues percieved by the host at the park. Imagine if some yahoo busted the t-shirt wearing woman in the face, wouldn't Dollywood be responsible and possibly negligent? Of course !!!

    Dollywood acted responsibly, intelligently and sensitively. There's no story here. Thank you to Dolly Parton for not feeding the frenzy and for years of great entertainment.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  279. F. Daniel Gray

    For the ten thousand time heoicracy and such uninformed people: You are misleading. Yes, it reads,"congress shall make no law..." However, if a state or any of its components, for example, deal with any federal agency, such as the Interstate Commerce Commission, they must abide by the Primacy Clause of Article VI. That's why the Supreme Court was able to prevent ANY local custom, code or practice which discriminated without a good reason. (Everyone can be required to wear shoes in a restaurant) What a person or group does inside of a "private club," requiring "membership, is different. A business which invites the public in, cannot, in general, arbitrarily pick and choose what is permissible speech. No Supreme Court decision discusses 'controversial." The speech must, to an objective and reasonable person, appear to cause violent and physical harm. And, it's if you shout "fire" and there is not one occurring. The Boy Scouts have been refused he use of public facilities because they reject gays and lesbians. I know it has a low priority, but I am surprised there has not been an organized attempt to bring CNN to answer about its arbitrary "moderator." Especially since people have been imaginative and somewhat clever in the use of the keyboard. And, since 99.9% of us know just what they are saying, it also shows how ludicrous the situation is.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Reality

      Wearing a controversial t-shirt in a privately owned property where the public is invited could be percieved as being similar to yelling fire in a crowded theater, especially if there are resultant injuries. Dollywood was well within it's rights to ask the women to change or turn the shirt inside out.

      August 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  280. John Walsh

    Since Gay marriage is politically correct nowadays you could wear that shirt to the white house. Wear a shirt with a christian message and be banned.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  281. Reality Check

    Stop the nonsense! Gay, straight, whatever. The fact of the matter is that why does someone need to make a controversial statement at a CHILDREN'S amusement park? Leave your controversy and your political opinions at home and let the kids play in a safe and happy environment!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  282. Stu

    So if I wear a shirt stating that marriage is between a man and a woman, I assume it will be ok, since they have deicded that this political issue is ok to display in the park? Or does the park only support one side of this issue?

    August 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  283. jessicaber

    I worked at a resort in Arizona where diners at the restaurant have to abide by a dress code (men have to wear a suite jacket) but having a dress code at a what...amusement park ...sounds really wrong and creepy to me.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  284. Brad

    I have been married for 12 years, and I assure you, there is NOTHING gay about marriage! I wish! I haven't had a moment of gaiety since I was in college! Oh, how I long for those days of being footloose and fancy free!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  285. larue

    You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time, or something like that. That being said, I'll wear my "Vrgins, thanks for nothing" tee shirt.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  286. Jimmy

    All you libtards need to cram it. It has nothing to do with gay marriage. If that woman had got her ass beat by someone who didn't like the shirt then Dollywood could get sued. End of story.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  287. dorothyshay

    The rights of the majority are being constantly forsaken by the "rights" of the minority.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Light In The Black

      Please explain what rights you have lost.
      Other than the right to control other peoples lives.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      And what rights, specifically, are being forsaken by allowing gay people to get married? EXACTLY what rights do striaght people "lose" in that scenario again?

      Just spouting a thing angrily and ignorantly doesn't actually make it true. Little things like truth make it true. So, what rights–EXACTLY–are being forsaken?

      August 7, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  288. brett

    They should not apologize for this. Companies and the government need to learn that you can't please everyone. This tee shirt was inappropriate.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  289. jdoe

    I am all for gay marriage, but I think the park did the right thing. The message could be read as being anti marriage, and the park has the right to refuse such advocacy messages. That message does nothing to further movements toward equality.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  290. JoJo

    Isn't Dolly like 87 years old??!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  291. J.C. Towler

    Dolly = class act.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  292. asdfghjkl

    This story is so gay.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  293. chazzz

    Gay can also mean other things, something like 'happy'...

    August 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sushilover

      That is correct chazzz. Have you heard or read the word, "Gay 20's"? When I read the t-shirt "marriage is gay" I thought it was a clever statement and put smile on my face. By the way, I am 75 years old grandma, a former Republican until decades ago.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  294. Kent Bowen

    This has quickly become a non-issue. Dolly has apologized for an employee who was trying very hard to do his/her job. Get over it. Now, if Dolly will wear the said wet T-Shirt on the Letterman show, all will be forgiven...

    August 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • sushilover

      A great idea! Do it Dolly. We will love you more if you can do it.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  295. John

    Wow. You Americans sure get riled up about the smallest things. Some of you are defending this lady, some are against her. What's the big deal? Why do you even care? You have to wonder what happened in this continent. It seems the more south you go, the more dumb people get. Canadians are the smartest, Americans from the North are dumb, Southerners are way out there, then you get into Mexico, etc.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • southerner

      John, I am a southerner from Georgia and I am offended by your blanket comment regarding southerners. You obviously have no clue about anyone south of the Canadian/U.S. border if you really believe what you have said here. Sad.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      Funniest comment I have read all week! It must be the heat – cooking our brains. My favorite American abuse of an expression – "I could care less" – which means you do care – instead of "I couldn't care less" – meaning you have the least amount of interest in a subject.

      This whole discussion is foolish – controversy generated for the sake of attention. While sympathetic to all oppressed people, I don't like anyone's beliefs or lifestyles thrust upon me to "just deal with it". My favorite expressions are "Live free or die", and "Live and let live". If more people embraced the latter, this would be a much better place to live.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  296. dennis

    If you are a man, and want to marry another man, do it. I mean who can stop you? If you are a woman and want to marry another woman, do it. I mean who can stop you? Does it make any sense? No, but most don't care. So you are going to get screwed one way or another, I gues it's your choice.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiredof PC-BS

      ROFLMAO!! Reminds me of something my mother said during the whole controversy – "Why the H*LL would anyone WANT to get married? Personally, I think they should outlaw marriage altogether!" She's such a funny old lady 🙂

      August 4, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  297. G

    I thought saying "gay" as a statement such as "that is so gay" was totally hated on in the lesbian/gay community. When I first read what the tshirt said I thought "it just sounds bad". Either we all can use the word "gay" or no one uses it. It shouldn't be okay just because you ARE gay.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  298. Generic

    Shows us those melons and we'll forget the whole thing, Dolly.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  299. Jesus Is Lord

    Jesus is the answer. He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven. Believe, repent and be saved!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Atheist

      "Jesus is the answer" No he's not "He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven" There is no heaven & there is no hell. "Believe" No. "Repent" Nothing to repent for or to. "be saved!" I don't have anything to be saved from.
      Read a book other than the bible, educate yourself. Grow up & stop believing in fairy tales.

      August 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  300. Philojazz

    So, here are some possible t-shirt logos. Have they been banned at Dollywood, or would they be banned, if someone were to enter the park wearing them? "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." "Abortion stills a beating heart." "Jesus loves you, Obama doesn't". "Read my lips. NO new taxes." Now, call me a cynic, but I think these t-shirts just MIGHT make it past the "t-shirt censors" at Dollywood. Fine, it's Ms Parton's prerogative (after all, she isn't the federal government) to censor people's t-shirts. Just admit to any hypocrisy that MIGHT be out there. Notice, I said might. Just wondering. Just posing a question, as it were.

    August 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  301. unowhoitsme

    Dolly is a sweetheart and would NEVER hurt anyone intentionally.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  302. dfghj

    Leave it to GayNN to make a story out of this. No objectivity with this news source.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  303. Commentator


    August 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  304. I'm just sayin'

    There are only TWO hard and fast rules about who an individual should be able to partner with:

    1. Legal age of consent
    2. No more than two legs

    August 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Passuer D' Fumes

      Who declare those two rules. What if I decide that I dont like 1 or both of YOUR rules? What if I arbitrarily make up my own rules? I will stick to the rules created by the the loving God who created the universe. Worship the creator, not the created.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  305. Frank

    Wearing a T-shirt like that is asking for attention, it got it and now it want's an apology. The smell of trouble I tell you. There's a time and place for things and this wasn't it.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  306. Erin

    The park attendant did what they felt was the right thing at the time. This is a family park. Forget freedom of speech and how/when to apply it blah blah blah. I wouldn't want my 7 year old to necessarily see a shirt like that; it's not appropriate for kids to see. Maybe people should take some responsibility and don't wear things that are going to strike controversy, then complain and get offended when they do.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Very well said! Obviously you come from a higher standard background, ethically and morally. Much needed!

      August 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  307. Robin

    And if this woman had gotten the crap kicked out of her for showing her support of gay marriage, she would be suing Dollywood for not protecting her. They did what they thought they had to in order to avoid an incident sparked by intolerance

    August 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  308. uberscary

    Just another example of the G&L community cramming their agenda down the throats of people who really could care less. By the way, I totally support the marriage of any two adults as everybody should and must have equal rights.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  309. Sherri

    Dollywood is private property. Paying admission only grants you access to the property. You are a guest there. The management can set what ever rules, codes, etc they wish to set. The customer is to abide by said rules, or there are ways of finding a solution to an infraction. To me, it's not the message on the t-shirt, but more the perception the couple had that they had been insulted, or denied a 'right'. Just because a few thousand people were in the park , does not take away from the fact that they are 'guests'. Quite a different thing if this was on a public street, in a government office , etc. This is not a 'freedom' issue, this is a respect for another's right to determine the standards by which they run a private business.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  310. Hitobito

    It would be great to see Dolly Parton in any tee shirt! I really don't care what it says! Even "Twin Peaks" would be OK by me!

    August 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  311. b. Slider

    That Dolly's really quite a gal!! I heard that she had been spending some private time with ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER recently.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  312. Lisa G

    I am very torn by this. In one respect I think that the statement on the shirt is pretty accurate. On the other hand, the policy is in place to protect the person wearing the clothing too. That makes a lot of sense. I would hate for this woman to have been harassed or even physically attacked because of her shirt. Sadly, there a lot of closed minded people in this world and they could have made a huge scene and ruined this family's day out. This is a tough one to call. I am glad that Dolly reached out to the family though. She has shown that she is a real class act.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  313. jesse

    Any comment is an opinion. If you say the sky is blue, someone could say baby blue, light blue, dark blue, it's all formed opinion. A slogan or words on a shirt express opinion, or thought, or ads, all are forms of opinions, because you are choosing to make a statement. Freedom of speech is not intended to force opinion, it is meant as a form of protection for your rights of how you live and make choices. You thinking marriage is gay, or is not and speaking on it is fine. You forcing me to see your expression of speech and listen to it is not. Remember the old saying change the channel? how can I with you speaking out loud, and expressing it in my face everywhere I go? Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to exert your thoughts onto everyone else.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  314. DuhDude

    Civil rights groups are very clear that the term "[blank] is so gay" is offensive. Dolly should be more aware of people's sensibilities and uphold the park policy of not tolerating offensive clothing inside the park.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wendon

      This whole issue shows how the intelligence of the American community is falling fast and the comments
      on this site confirms it!

      August 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  315. darkguardian1314

    From what I understand in the media and reactions, saying anything is "so gay" is offensive and derogatory to the Gay population because it implies that it's undesirable or sub-par.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  316. Nancy

    Someone looking to make a free buck

    August 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  317. Eric in TN

    I completely agree with Sharon's very reasonable statement (made at 6:49pm). Well said. The only thing I want to mention that I haven't seen in these posts is that Dollywood, a park I've been to twice with my family, is a theme park that courts a VERY conservative crowd. It is the Disney World of Appalachia. Given the crowd here, it was probably wise to check that shirt (or other controversial shirts for that matter) at the gate.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  318. Beth

    To everyone claiming this is an issue of free speech, would you all support my right to walk into said amusement park wearing a shirt that said "marriage= one man + one woman?"

    Here's my problem with things like this- we have to make everything, even a simple visit to an amusement park, controversial. I think the very presence of an openly lesbian couple in such a park speaks for the way they choose to live their lives. Why rub it in everyone faces? Act like everyone else and you'll be treated like everyone else. Isn't this what the LGBT community wants?

    August 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toni

      "I think the very presence of an openly lesbian couple in such a park speaks for the way they choose to live their lives. Why rub it in everyone faces? Act like everyone else and you'll be treated like everyone else. Isn't this what the LGBT community wants?"

      Act like everyone else? Act like two people in a relationship, demonstrating respect and affection, enjoying a day at a fun park? I don't understand the point you're trying to make ...


      August 4, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  319. Dave

    Perhaps, just perhaps, different groups of people should think ahead of time and not shove their beliefs or agenda's in everyone elses faces. If you are straight, keep it to yourself, if you are gay keep it to yourself, if you are Christian keep it to yourself, if you are Muslum keep it to your self, if you are Jewish Keep it to your self, If you are white, black, brown, yellow, red, green, or purple keep it to yourself and life will be much better for everyone.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • coloneldewe

      You are on point Dave. I don' need to wear a sign around my neck (or t-shirt) to tell the world my beliefs. I hope my actions will do that. And if you want to know about me, just ask.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  320. Alex

    This is a private park, and I don't see the problem with asking the lady to turn her shirt inside out. Look, if you don't like it, don't go to the park. But I can see no wanting people calling things gay on shirts in a family amusement park.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  321. Sick to death

    Quiet Frankly, I saw this particular couple at dollywood the day of the incident. It really made me sick to my stomach to see them just stop, right beside of a show that was being put on, and lip lock each other. I know the bible, and it strickly says, man shall not lay with man, which means, in layman terms, men shall not be intimate with men, and women shall not be with women.The world is becoming more and more like the days of Noah, the Lord will only tolerate so much before he makes his move.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      @ Sick to Death

      This is GOD writing and I want YOU to know I am "making MY move."

      Within a week, you will truly be SICK TO DEATH...

      August 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  322. rick

    b.s. on the apoligy people get over it.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  323. Amanda

    I can honestly say that CNNs board is much more calmer. Yahoos responses are filled with hatred and stupidity. Its good to see that adults can act like adults. As a gay woman, I can tell you that I would never wear that shirt to a theme park filled with kids. It may not be harmful but you have so many ignorant people out there and they will cause problems. Sadly, it's best to keep this in mind 🙁

    August 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  324. RachelM

    What a classy woman Dolly Parton is. No wonder she has so many loyal fans.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  325. joe marriage is evil and against God. Dolly Parton you need to get right with Jesus Christ..youre old and on your way to hell...and you should repent.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Well in that case, you should repent also. The Bible says not to judge, and guess what buddy?? You're judging people. You are throwing a sin on shouldn't be doing that either. But I hate to break it to you, but your dear old Bible is a little thing called HEARSAY. Did you know that the Bible was written by people 300 years after Jesus died?? I know what you're saying..WOW..that's crazy....oh well..maybe next time right?

      August 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren KC MO

      You yourself have sinned, by actually telling them they were going to Hell. You have no right to judge others. That is plainly written in the Bible, if you actually believe that crap, which you obviously do. Since I am a non-believer, I could tell you that you are going to Hell, since I don't have to follow those rules. But I am not going to tell you that, because I know that would be a lie. The only truth I see is your ignorance and hate.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  326. caniacgurl

    She should not have to apologize for having a dress code.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  327. QS

    If the situation were reversed, a conservative would be screaming that their right to be controversial was being infringed upon!

    Hi, I'd like the conservative contintental breakfast with an extra side of irony to go with my main course of hypocrisy!

    August 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  328. drewsco

    Regardless of whether the message on the shirt was controversial or not, park management had an obligation to ensure that all visitors to the park are safe. If they felt that the message on the shirt could have possibly subjected these women to verbal or physical confrontations, they were within their right to ask the woman to wear her shirt inside out. Imagine if somone confronted, harrassed, or even assaulted this woman because of her shirt. Dollywood would be legally liable.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  329. obverse side

    Whew, now I know I can wear my "Hetero is the Way to go " shirt.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  330. Dave_in_AK

    It's just sad that this is even an issue. I look forward to the day when it isn't.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  331. ken845

    Weird since Parton is a lesbian.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  332. Jen

    They planned this out to create controversy and waste our time. We are sitting here debating right and wrong about some stupid t shirt. Blame the media for making this an issue that should not have been. If you want to enter Dollywood, don't do so wearing an inflamatory tshirt, end of story.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  333. Rob

    How gay.....I understand that Dollywood is a very gay and happy place.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  334. NOGR8RH8R

    I'm sick of "the Gays" being overly sensitive. Enough with the nonsense!

    August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  335. cjpines

    The park host did the right thing.

    The GLBT community chose some time ago to actively appose the use of the word "Gay" and in good faith with that DollyWorld responded to it. You can not ask every business in the country to judge intent or even worse expect rules for 'us' and different riles for 'them'...unless you like the idea of 'Gay Only' water fountains.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  336. Caral From SoCal

    Seems to me that businesses such as Dollywood are stuck. They must keep their patrons safe, or be sued. WHen they take steps to try to assure this woman and her family are safe, the woman gets upset. The problem is NOT Dollywood. The problem is that this woman wore a shirt that some people would find inappropriate in a family park. In fact, my children saw a similar shirt at CityWalk recently, and it led to a big long conversation about how we do not use the word "gay" as a slam. For younger children who don't get the irony implicit in the wording, that's what it looks like. Seriously, people, we are not all interested in your opinions about every subject (or any subject) while we're out having a family day. Catch me during a political debate, not in line at Splash Country.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  337. Aaron

    People have a right to wear what they want to, although it would be nice if these t-shirts with the F word on them would be banned....and would be even nicer if some of these Wal-Mart shoppers would cover up with anything, no matter what message is relayed on that particular anything.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  338. yankee

    some of the people think we own them

    August 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  339. Pat

    Why are people so afraid of perverts???? I would tell them where to put their t-shirts....

    August 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  340. AndreaM

    I feel sorry for Dolly on this one. She's a well known supporter beloved in much of the gay community, the fact that a simple policy would get twisted at her park into something she would disagree with hurts my heart a little for her. Don't think it will hurt her image though, she's always been very vocal about everything, from her bewbz to supporting the gay community.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  341. ham

    whatever happened to using plain old common sense

    August 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  342. Allyn

    I believe the problem is with the wording of the shirt. The shirt is saying "something" is gay. Typically that has been considered a negative comment. If the shirt had said anything else was gay, then it would have been the gay and lesbian community in an uproar to get it turned inside out. But, because they approve of this message, they call it free speech. Well, the park is public property, if they choose to allow nobody wearing red, or nobody in flip flops or they dont allow people to hand out flyers supporting Disney Land on their property, it isnt restricting free speech, it is a land owner exercising control over their land. The host made a judgement call, and enforced it. Dolly didn't agree, I am sure that it has been discussed, and will not happen in the future. But no restriction of free speech occurred here. I think the problem more truely lies with people who go out in public wearing shirts that they know are controversial, simply looking to have an incident like this, I would place money that was the goal in this case.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  343. SpamEater

    I recently saw a public service commercial featuring some Hollywood libs telling me how saying anything is "gay" is demeaning and that everyone should get out of the habit of saying "such and such is gay". If some kid saw that shirt, which they undoubtedly would at Dollywood, they would not know what it meant and thik it was just mean spirited. H3ll, I'm not sure I'd know what it meant unless it was in the news. Just leave the shirt at home next time and stop whining about it. Nobody really cares that she is into carpet sniffing.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  344. trl

    ........aahhhh.....yeeeaaah.....suuuure lady......whatever you say.....I'D say about $5000 outta make things right along with a sincere apology.....that should have never happened and those people should have never been made to feel the way that situation must have made them feel.....on second thought.....i'd say $5000 for each adult should properly address the problem.....sure Dolly is against all of it but its an issue of principle and damage.....she makes insane amounts of money and should not even think more than a second to satisfy these people who came to see her and were insulted and demeaned.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  345. Denese

    She has nothing to apologize for. It's a family, fun park. Geez ladies, take a break from the whining and have some fun. It's just for a couple of hours. Then you can go back to promoting gay marriage.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  346. D

    Now wait, let me get this straight – certain groups get offended if a statement is made in a movie about something or other being 'so gay', yet it is ok to put the same type of phrase on a t-shirt – just so long as u r from that group, is that it? REALLY?? You don't like when someone else uses the expression, but it is ok for u? YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!!!

    August 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  347. Jon

    It's funny how people like to see if the can get some attention.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  348. So bored with you people

    LGBT community just can't resist doing everything possible to antagonize others, then beat their drums loudly in the press to claims of bigotry and hate. Get over yourselves, drama wh0res.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arick

      Redneck detected. Let me guess, you hate gays because your fake, trashy god told you they were bad?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Seriously. There is NOTHING more antagonizing than people with different opinions from your own wearing those opinions on a comedic t-shirt in public. How dare they!

      Sorry, but I utterly fail to see how this was "antagonizing" in ANY way, unless you are a knuckle-dragging mouth-breather who is prone to violent over-reaction to any indication someone may hold a different opinion from your own. Wearing a purposefully comedic pun-based t-shirt is about as passive a form of protest as it gets. Do you just enjoy seeing "drum-beating" controversy in everything because it sounds to me that you are seeing what your own bias tells you to see and not what actually is in this situation.

      August 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  349. For real?

    So the T-shirt uses the word "Gay" as a negative connotation and it is ok to most of you?

    August 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • erm

      Are you acquainted with irony?

      August 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      How do you know the t-shirt used the word gay in a negative connotation? Just because you're marriage is miserable doesn't mean that marriage, in general, is not happy. Or has your family inbred so much that your brain can't comprehend things like irony? Oh wait, you probably don't even know what 'irony' means, do you?

      August 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  350. Bill

    Dang – the woman apologized... let it go. The country almost got wiped out by the debt-ceiling vote two days ago – and you are all worried demanding an apology from Dolly Parton? Yikes!

    August 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  351. Quincey9

    Dolly did a great job on this. I'm sure that the employee(s) involved we corrected and,... no harm no foul. Big deal.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  352. edvhou812

    Dollywood did the right thing.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  353. Me

    So..... Is calling something gay OK now? Have to love this story.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  354. Shinea

    I'm for gay marriage, but I wonder if a straight couple would have been offered an apology? If it's good for one, it must be the same for all, including "straights".

    August 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Make a shirt that says "Marriage is so straight," wear it to the park, and find out. Until then you are speculating pointlessly and about what *might* be the case or not.

      August 7, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  355. John Johnson

    To hell with Dolly! She just did it for the publicity, shes sooooo olllllld.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  356. RobVexx

    Dolly handled it as best she could personally IMHO. Lady was upset because she had to turn her shirt inside out, nobody is going to be excited about doing that. It is a controversial topic regardless and wearing a shirt like that is definitely drawing a personal and outspoken line in the sand as to where you stand in that issue. Freedom of speech does not and probably will not ever apply to privately owned property. Notice this happened "while attempting to visit" and "at the park's entrance". There are many places that have specific dress code policies (golf courses, restraunts, 7-11, malls... ect), there is no victim in this situation and this story is absolutely dumb. Why shouldn't the rules apply to this woman? Because she is gay? B.S.

    Try using the "freedom of speech" argument at work and see how far that gets you.

    what moron edited THIS btw
    "was asked by the host at Dollywood's Splash Country to turn her shirt inside out by the host"

    August 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Renelda Moorehead

      Frankly, I'm sick of WIMPS. The manager at the family park did the right thing. Then the owner apologizes? For what?
      The shirt was unnecesarily PROVOCATIVE AND INAPPROPIATE.. THE END. DOLLY WIMPED-OUT. tO MEIT'S ABOUT the buck stops here; and i said it, i meant it, and i'M HERE TO REPRESENT IT.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  357. not for me

    not such a big deal, over blown like a jb

    August 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  358. brad

    Political correctness and multicultural paranoia are slowly pu55ifying this country into wimps, and cry babies.. no wonder we are so far behind so many countries in so many things.. soon we'll be relagated to a first rate 3rd world country. Sad really..

    August 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  359. deb

    The woman and her wife certainly knew which amusement park in the bible belt to visit to get a little attention wearing that shirt...I mean, really, I am sure this little couple were very familiar with the atmosphere in a Tennessee park. March somewhere else....

    August 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aidan

      So it's your view that people should only "march" where people already agree with their views? I guess the majority of the Civil Rights Movement should have taken place in Portland, OR then right?

      The place to march, if any, would be right through the Southern states that continue to express patriotism and bigotry hand in hand.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Davis

      The "woman and her wife". Good Lord.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • StClown

      Given statements by a few different gay and lesbian people posting replies to this discussion, it's quite possible that they lesbian couple thought nothing about which park to cause any sort of disturbance. After all, if they know that Dolly herself is an outspoken GLBT supporter, and from the gay men and women I know, they have keep a fairly informal yet accurate tab on their public and high-profile supporters, then they may have not expected any problems in the least.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  360. charlie crack

    I can see the host overreacting, yes....good point

    August 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  361. DGirl101

    While I am in support of the t-shirt and what it says, I also in support of Dollywood's host. If I saw someone coming into my private establishment that had on a T-shirt or was otherwise doing or saying something that possibly might be socially inflammatory, I too would think twice about letting them in, just for the preservation of my other clientele and my business. And Dolly handled it gracefully. We could go on and on about free speech and how this right has been horribly misused or horribly tromped upon, but the truth of the matter is we have to use common sense when we use it.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  362. charlie crack

    Has nothing to do w/ s*e*x preference....PC PC blah blah

    August 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  363. TheGayPrince

    As a gay man I know that Dolly has been very supportive of the gay community therefore I believe her apology is genuine. I'm not really sure why her park would have a dress code though! I wonder how the lunatics at the Westboro Baptist church would react if someone were to wear that shirt at one of their masses 😉

    August 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThreeKidsInKy

      I'm pretty sure Baptists don't celebrate "Mass"....that's for Catholics.

      August 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  364. Willy

    I hope this couple isn't too bent about this. Sounds like the park did everything they could in order to make good. If only customer service was this good elsewhere.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  365. homer

    When I read the message on the shirt I thought it was derogatory to gays. Since the 'is so gay' saying is negative to gays, I interpreted the message as being against gay marriage thus against gays.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  366. Dollywood fan

    Good on ya Dolly
    Thats a southern lady if i ever saw one

    August 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Davis

      Definitely not any of the true Southern women that I know. Most true Southern ladies have enough sense to distinguish between genders and see when a team is hitched up the wrong way. Hitch a team up wrong and your wagon aint gonna ever roll right. If you think it can, read the other article on HIV among black "gays"

      August 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pops

      Hey Dan Davis, I guess that expalins why the lowest rate of HIV is with Lesbians, right? They must be God's chosen people.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  367. charlie crack

    If clearly stated that questionable attire/ shirts with slogans then no need for apology....put on a dolly shirt enjoy park if you wish and shut up and ride....

    August 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  368. reality

    i'm coming out with a t-shirt that says"YOUR SO STUPID"

    August 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stoopid

      That would be "You're so stupid" Unless of course you going for irony, in which case "You're so stoopid" would probably be clearer.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Its spelled You're.

      August 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  369. Randy

    Why is it that apologies (especially corporate in nature) always include an 'if': 'we're sorry IF you were offended'. Obviously someone was offended; otherwise no apology necessary.

    How 'bout this: 'we're sorry THAT you were offended'. Covers it all, I think.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiredof PC-BS

      Just to shed light on your point and help with your perspective a bit, what IF the kid that told them to turn the shirt inside out was the one who was offended? Could he then not demand the same apology from the ladies? Would they actually say, "I'm sorry that I offended this kid for wearing a shirt that he found offensive"? Parden the pun, but your argument goes both ways and I only hope that you can see that fact as easily as I can.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  370. zivo24

    I fail to see how the message on this t-shirt is offensive.

    It does not ridicule or insult any specific person or group.

    I understand that there are many people – but no longer a majority – who disagree with marital equality for gay couples, which is what the message on the shirt is referencing – but again, they are not being singled out for ridicule or insult so how could the message on it be construed as offensive?

    Splash Country is walking a fine line here of violating first amendment rights by allowing their host to decide what is or isn't offensive based apparently on his interpretation of the policy.

    It's one thing to tell someone they have to turn their shirt inside out if it had a message on it that was INTENDED to ridicule or insult a specific group or person. But telling someone to do because some other people might disagree with the message behind it is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights to freedom of expression. As a company doing business in the public domain, they cannot censor their potential customers in this way.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheActualLaw

      Uhm, have you actually read the First Amendment? It doesn't apply to private companies even if those private companies are operating in the public sphere. It specifically restricts CONGRESS which has been extrapolated to mean the government in general. It does NOT mean Dollywood. 🙂

      August 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd E.

      There is no First Amendment Issue here because:
      1. The park is private property and the ownership and operation of the park is not a state action.
      2. The park is not a public forum.
      3. Admission to the park is not "public domain" but rather attendees pay a fee for a revokable license to enter and participate in activities.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Finally!

      Thank you TheActualLaw and Todd E. for setting the record straight on the (in)applicability of the First Amendment!

      All the amusement parks where I live have similar policies regarding attire–many of them intended to prohibit clothing with obvious gang affiliations that might provoke disruption. It is in all of our interest for parks to take such measures to preserve peace and an enjoyable atmosphere. That said, I think whatever employee asked this patron to turn her shirt inside out went way overboard in enforcing the policy, but it seems that Dollywood has taken measures to apologize and ensure it doesn't happen again.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fat Bobby Joe

      "this is not a first amendment issue"


      We made them turn it inside out, so that some dumba$s redneck doesn't go on a verbal or physical rampage because he can't deal with adversity.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cbear

      Just to clarify, no this has nothing to do with the first amendment. This has to do with good taste and consideration; in a word, decency. Nothing legal is at issue here. Her shirt was perfectly decent, and the hatred that comes out around this issue, is the indecent thing.

      August 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • LLLLL

      Zivo, this is not a first amendment issue. The first amendment prohibits GOVERNMENTAL restriction of free speech. That does not apply to a private company.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  371. rtbrno65

    My guess is that if I showed up there with a pot leaf tee shirt they would make me hide that as well. Censorship is wrong period.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiredof PC-BS

      If you don't like the rules under someone else's roof, don't ask to walk in the door. That park doesn't belong to you or the pubic or the goverment – no one should be able to tell a property owner whom they should or should not allow to enter the property nor what activities they may or may not forbid. How about you do what you want to in your house and I'll do what I want to in mine, and we just stay away from each other's houses? A reasonable and equitable solution.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  372. Hurray!

    Dolly is a big supporter of the GLBT community! This incident was handled appropriately.
    To the_dude, there is never a reason to HATE gays or anyone for that matter. Be careful how you spread your hate....

    August 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  373. The Dude

    Is this the white trash version of Six Flags?

    August 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • six flags sucks

      six flags is worse

      August 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Six Flags is the white trash version of Six Flags. Dollywood is awesome by comparison (not only is it more fun, but she takes far better care of her employees, the community surrounding the park, and gives a lot of money back to run programs like the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary–a massive bald eagle aviary and recovery center at the park–for no reason other than it is the right thing to do. When's the last time Six Flags donated a portion of it's proceeds to protect and grow the numbers of an endangered species?)

      August 7, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  374. Tara

    I read it from the perspective that the LGBT community has been trying to eradicate the usage of the phrase "so gay" to describe things that one feels are stupid, dumb, etc., so to wear a shirt stating "Marriage is So Gay", it could be misconstrued and offensive to those in the gay community.

    Having her turn her shirt inside out simply prevented any problems that could arise had she left it on the right way. I don't care either way, but I agree with Dollyworld's decision to play it safe. We very easily could be reading an article about park patrons being offended by a woman's shirt. Not everyone can be happy all the time.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • coloneldewe

      Or we could be reading an article about an injury/death caused from flaring tempers regarding a t-shirt. She was definitely making a statement.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  375. jo an

    Don't attempt to wear that TEE SHIRT to A Baptist Church in the South......You are safer with Dolly!

    August 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberal from NW

      @Jo, not safe in a Southern Baptist church? Are you kidding? What a bigot... And if that is the case, I hope your church burns to the ground!

      August 4, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Hammerheart

      Are you retarded? Did you even read the comment? Let me introduce you to my friend Sarcasm...

      August 4, 2011 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  376. rachel

    If someone wore a shirt that said Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Light.....people would not be supporting freedom of speech like they do with gay rights...such hypocrites in the world and I'm sick of it. You want your freedoms and beliefs but heaven forbid the word God is mentioned anywhere and the ACLU and all you hypocrites go crazy....

    August 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • gTy

      People wear shirts claiming their love for Jesus all of the time. I must be missing your point.

      August 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • moe hatmah

      Hallelujeah! And g*d bless the righteous clan! amen brothers and sisters (spelled korrectly!)

      August 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Common sense needs to be applied. If one visits San Francisco, he probably shouldn't wear his Confederate flag or "Jesus Saves" shirt without expecting attention. I think the woman in question wears this shirt in order to get attention and "make a statement". Gay marriage is controversial in the South. While San Fran Snarks like to call Southerners ignorant, they're the first to cry foul (and file a lawsuit through the ACLU or SPLC) when there's a "Jesus Saves" T-Shirt or a copy of the Ten Commandments in front of a courthouse. Here's a news flash – attacking someone's values isn't exactly going to encourage them to see things your way, much less want ANYTHING else in common with you. Feel familiar?

      August 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erm

      Someone wearing that shirt would not have been asked to turn it inside.
      What's your point?

      August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • septocaine

      Thanks Rachel. You represent the majority of Americans who just don't buy into this "it's normal" crapola

      August 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  377. John

    There was no need for an apology. People who wear controversial t-shirts to a family theme park then complain about being embarrassed by an incident are trying to have it both ways.

    Let's look at it the other way around. If she can wear "Marriage is so gay" then why can't I wear a T-Shirt that says something like "Gay Sucks"? Where's the line?

    August 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • rachel

      My exact point John.

      August 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I've been to Dollywood many times (and LOVE it there). I've seen countless shirts with confederate flags on them! THAT is controversial! No one has been asked to turn those inside out. The fact is that YOU were offended by this shirt, so that is why you agree with the park employee. As long as the straight white males agree with it, it HAS to be "normal" and "accepted".

      August 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • whites have less rights

      it feels good to tell you to stuff it, long ago whites have become a minority and still any thing that happens, the trolls come out to scream how badly they were treated and blame it on whites

      poor unfavorably treated soul... quit acting like a victim

      August 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erm

      "Marriage is gay" and "gay sucks" are not even remotely close to being the same thing.
      One is a tongue-in-cheek remark on the gay marriage issue and the other is discriminatory remarks about an entire group of people.
      It doesn't surprise me at all that Confederate flags are allowed, but this t-shirt was not. It may be Dollywood, but it's still Tennessee. I attended a 4th of July parade in the mts of NC and was appalled by the floats with Confederate flags flown from them.
      Anyway, Dolly is a sweet lady. And a gay one, at that. That's why she's a friend of the gay community. 😉

      August 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erm

      Whites have less rights?
      Oh, cry me a RIVER.
      That's the most ridiculous thing I have EVER heard. Boo hoo, I'm a minority now. Boo hoo
      BS. White males will ALWAYS wield the power in society.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • livinlive420

      "family theme"
      What does that mean?

      August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert E Lee

      Exactly! You cant have it both ways...Gay is gay....Lets not disguise the facts

      August 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      YUP !!! nicely said

      August 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      My friend just went wearing a shirt saying marriage is so NOT gay and no one said anything about it....

      August 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't Ask, Don't Care

      @Bill The confederate flag is pretty much a localized concern. I live in the Portland, Oregon and I could care less about the confederate flag issue as it does not effect me in anyway whatsoever, but I DO have an opinion about gay marriage, therefore any shirt displaying an opinion on it about gay marriage, whether it be for or against, would be considered controversial throughout the country.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  378. Mike

    As a gay man I think this was blown way out of proportion. I've been to Dollywood before with my partner and have never been mistreated. I own one of the "Marriage is so Gay" shirts that the woman in question was asked to turn inside out. The park has to cater to everyone; I think the incident was more about keeping people from really pushing the limits on the dress code. Dolly handled this matter wonderfully. She is a known supporter of our community and of our rights.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  379. Yaara

    Dolly's a big supporter of the GLBT community - she caught some flak for doing a song for the soundtrack of "Transamerica" - check it out at YouTube. It's called "Travelin' Thru." I'm sure she would never condone this type of bigotry at her park.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde M

      Yep. My favorite recording of Jolene is the live one where she gives a shout out to all the drag queens in the audience who look more like her than she ever could. Dolly's support of the gay and lesbian community is deep, decades long, and sincere. I'm sure there is a policy about controversy and that a park employee made this call on their own and that it doesn't reflect on Dolly herself in any way.

      August 7, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  380. Brittany

    This was handled absolutely correctly and to everyone who mad "klan" comments grow up dolly nor her company or employees are like that. Shes the cher of that community very much supportive of all people and walks of life. There are however stupid southern idiots who are rude and closed minded that may have said or done something which would have been much worse. I think this was handled with integrity and respect

    August 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |

      I agree with everything you said but it isn't just "stupid southern idiots" who are rude and close minded. I am a southern woman, born and raised in Georgia, and I, nor my family or friends (who are all southern) are not rude or close minded. Yes, there are some people who happen to live in the south that are, but don't forget, there are also people all over the rest of the U.S. and in other parts of the world that are rude and close minded. Please don't be one of them and assume that it's just us southerners.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      It's true, there are a lot of ignorant, stupid people down here. But, like the previous comment said, you find that anywhere you go. It seems to be more concentrated down here, but you'd need to leave the planet to escape it.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • WJP


      I guess you are so urbanized and smart that ignorance excapes you. To judge people from southern states as ignorant shows your ignorance. I've been to urban areas all over the world and find the biggest bigots and left wing loons are plentiful. You want to reap for idiots?, it's people like you who make the harvest plentiful.......

      August 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  381. Josh H.

    Its funny that Dolly is getting called a hater for making the woman turn her shirt inside out, but if this woman would have been allowed to wear the shirt as is, and some idiot(s) would have gotten upset and started a fight or even attacked the woman, then she would be suing hell out of Dollywood

    August 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrissy

      I don't think anyone would call Dolly a hater. She's as sweet as pie!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  382. Danimal

    As a gay person myself I can definately see both sides of this issue and Dolly handled it perfectly. Always a class act.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      I whole heartedly agree.... I was going into reading this article, thinking I was going to be mad at Dolly and her staff, but wow... She handled it with class. I do believe there was some over reaction on the part of the host regarding the shirt. I don't see that shirt as offensive, but I guess some ignorant people out there would... And perhaps it did save the patron from a few cross words or evil glares. But when you wear a politically motivated shirt (I hate to even say that shirt has a political motivation) you do kind of prepare for some looks/glares/comments... Or sometimes the occasional compliment.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      It's ignorant to call someone with a differing opinion and world view from yours ignorant.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erm

      Not really. Ignorance means you lack knowledge. Bigotry is the very definition of ignorance.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I agree, as a gay person myself, that the shirt was controversial enough in TN to warrant asking her to cover it up. I would also expect the park to ask someone to cover up an anti–gay-marriage shirt as well.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROFLCatDown

      I'm pretty sure they did that woman a favor by asking her to turn her shirt inside out. Tennessee is in the top 3 states for edentulism, and I'm pretty sure banjo sales have increased there with the economic conditions of the country as of late.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  383. Sigmatic

    This is the first good example of dealing with gay sensitivity I have seen. Good work Dollywood for keeping it peaceful in the moment, and reaching out afterwards to check up on the clients.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • drmom

      I totally agree with you, Sigmatic. This was handled in the correct way.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Everyone that has an opinion other than mine should shut the hell up already.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • DP

      Good point. It's a little bit of info I'll tuck into my memory for the next time I choose a vacation spot. They handle things classy, even when it's a tough call.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  384. hoofawted

    I agree with Dollywood. Even though that woman was trying to express her support, they probably saved her from getting in a few fist fights & arguments with some of the patrons who may not have agreed with that womans beliefs.

    August 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ding Bat

      We should have more "No Free Speech Zones". It should be about the size of the U.S..

      August 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ROFLCatDown

      @Ding Bat – Freedom of speech doesn't apply to private businesses or dwellings. They have the right to ask you to leave for any reason. If you disagree with this then speak where it hits them the hardest, in their wallet. There's a reason why I don't shop at Target.

      I'm all for free speech, even when I don't support what is being said. However I also recognize the rights of people to protect their private business establishment, their patrons, and their own viewpoint if they want to. That's them exercising their right to free speech. They can choose to foster it, or squelch it within the confines of their property.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • lucky

      Those of you who keep harping about free speech not applying to private businesses are clueless. We have a variety of laws that forbid private businesses from discriminating, especially these kinds of businesses which accommodate the public. Entertainment venues like Dollywood are enumerated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws. Legally, a business cannot create hurdles for one particular group of citizens if they allow other groups to do the same kind of thing. That would include requiring one group to alter attire other other groups aren't likewise forced to; e. g., if Teab-a-g-g-e-r-s are allowed to wear politically-oriented shirts but other groups, such as gays and lesbians, are forbidden from displaying similar messages on theirs.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • tifoso

      @hoofawfed – You refer to fights that might occur. Attacking another person is a criminal act. Anyone who attacks another based on someone's use of free expression should be arrested and jailed. But you want to put the punishment on the person using free expression. By your reasoning, thugs decide what we may say or write. That is completely contrary to our way of life. Shame on you.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • @tifoso

      Ok, well just tell that to her after a drunk redneck who either verbally abuses her or physically attacks her for wearing that shirt, and also to the dozens of children who have to witness the altercation in the park, and to the lawyers of Dollywood for getting sued by her for creating a hostile environment since they would pretty much have to provide her with a private escort. Try wearing a white power T shirt to Coney Island sometime, and if they do let you in, which according to you they have no right to tell you that you cannot wear that shirt, see what happens.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      The Baptist bigot at Dollywood had no right to make the judgement that the shirt was controversial in the first place. This would never happen in NY.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • WJP

      dogs rule,

      You are probably right that it would not happen in New Your! Only Sodom and Gomorra supports this. (California and New York) Devient behavior is the norm – Dog always go back to their vomit!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  385. jujubeans

    It is a controversial message. Seems strictly in policy.

    August 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      My wife owns the same shirt and we are straight. It is not controversial, it's a fact! The whole thing is a shame since I know Dolly Parton doesn't discriminate and would never have approved of having the shirt reversed.

      August 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • zivo24

      And just who gets decide what is and isn't controversial?

      Seems like I always hear conservatives taking potshots at liberals for being "PC"...but now a message on a t-shirt, that clearly does not ridicule or insult any specific person or group is such a hot topic that it's wearer is forced to temporarily relinquish her First Amendment rights to freedom of expression? REALLY?????

      The parks policy is following the logic behind the first amendment that you have free speech...TO A POINT...the common example is that you can't shout "FIRE!" in a crowded theater just for the hell of it...because people could get harmed. This incident in NO WAY comes anywhere near that definition. \

      The park is out of line and could face serious troubles for violating it's customers first amendment rights...and they know it...which is why they are doing so much proactive damage control.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Free Speech

      Amazing how people who want their own free speech protected are so quick to try and silence others. The shirt was comedic in nature, did not encourage violence, had no profanity, etc. and therefore was clearly not controversial. Stop inventing things to be angry about, go about enjoying your lives people and let others do the same. I commend Dolly for her response, it is why I love her along with the fact that she is an amazing performer.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • heliocracy

      For the 1,000th time, the 1st Amendment prohibits the GOVERNMENT from unreasonably infringing free speech. It does not apply to anyone else. If Dollywood wants to prohibit speech of any kind on their property, they can legally do so.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigGuy

      A reality check says that the government is not allowed pass laws to control speech. That's it. It doesn't mention businesses at all. If you work in a typical work place, your speech is controlled for better or worse. You are prohibited from verbalizing things that would be offensive or hurtful to others. Whether or not that's moral or correct doesn't matter. As long as a law is not passed by the federal government everything else goes.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      In some areas of the country, the shirt would still be an issue. Not so much "controversy" as socially inflammatory. In a park, the last thing they wanted was someone taking issue with a message someone else felt strongly about proclaiming, and starting something. I don't blame the park personnel, they were trying to keep things running smoothly as they understood their jobs, and it was a judgment call. With what's in the news lately, I can see why any shirt bearing a message about orientation or marriage would be targeted.

      The park workers did the right thing.

      Ms. Parton also did the right thing. She issued a personal, true, apology, that wasn’t a lot of BS, and she explained what happened and why and it made sense. She has a good policy.

      I think that, in the end, everyone won here and this wasn’t a bad experience. Ms. Parton has nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about in her park workers, and the guests have nothing to regret in their trip. I hope the worker keeps his job.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • lacpeb

      I agree with you, jujubeans. We all know what the shirt means, and we all know that it is a message that stands to inflame and enrage a significant portion of the population. Therefore, it has no place in an amusement park. If the park has a dress code, so be it. Bill, you're splitting hairs, and you are dead wrong.

      August 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • stan

      @Bill – just read all the posts on here – obviously the statement IS controversial. Just because you agree with the shirt doesn't mean it doesn't create controversy from others. Based on the mixed responses on this site, the host did the right thing by trying to eliminate a controversial situation (for all we know, the host is in a gay marriage and fully supports the message on the shirt).

      August 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trace Parker

      Hum, last time I checked the dictionary the word GAY also meant HAPPY.. But kudos to Parton for stepping up and looking into the matter. And for the FAMILY this happened to I am sorry, this is still America and we will probably never really truely be accepted.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • coloneldewe

      Have you ever seen the sign in the window "No shirt, no shoes, no service"? It's business policy. Dollywood had a right to uphold its policy.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Someone who came across a "Marriage is so gay" shirt might think it was using the word "gay" in a demeaning manner. In particular, children who don't get the joke might think the shirt was using the term "gay" in the derogatory sense. I'm just saying that, theoretically, a person who actually wanted to prevent discrimination, etc., might be opposed to the shirt.

      Regardless, I want a "Marriage is so gay" shirt, haha

      August 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annatala Wolf

      Of course the park has every right to enforce a reasonable dress code, but censoring expression, even on private property, is always a fine line to walk. This family paid money to get into the park just like everyone else. If someone's day is ruined because they happened to see a t-shirt that promotes gay marriage, then their day was probably already ruined when they saw two married women holding hands. Censoring a tame message was more controversial than the message.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • topaz114

      Bill: "Would I wear it knowing that some people would disagree with it? Yes."

      The definition of controversy on is "a public dispute." They list a synonym for it as a "disagreement." Therefore, it is a controversial issue. I personally don't see it as controversial, but in the U.S. it is a hot topic. The host correctly followed the park's policy, which is to ban controversial items. That being said, the problem is that they should change their policy.

      August 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Their park, their rules. If you don't like them, don't go. I agree with the decision. I couldn't give 2 hoots about gay marriage, but someone wearing a shirt like that to a family park, that will be filled with kids, is just looking to stir up trouble.

      August 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yo....

      Really? I was at Dollywood in July and I saw AT LEAST 4 men and 2 women wearing Dixie Flag themed bathing suits...That's not offense certain folks????

      August 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SurRy

      I believe Dolly is concerned about folks safety. I'm sure she knows the knuckledraggers who frequent the place are likely to pummel a woman.

      August 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SurRy

      But one would expect to find folks wearing t-shirts with confederate flags, guns, bombs, terrorist hunting permit and Jesus at a place like Dollywood, right?

      August 3, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Are you kidding me? Of course it was controversial. The very fact this is news and that people are fighting over "marriage is between a man and woman" or "marriage is so gay" just drives the point home. Whatever side you take, don't kid yourself.. It's definitely a controversial message.

      August 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      sorry, but the term "gay" is not profane, so it is not against the law. If a private company told me to turn my shirt insideout, I would demand a refund, and press discrimination against these hatefull southeren rednecks.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • thshoop

      It's a family park, not a political stage. This girl's getting her 15 minutes of fame.
      So her feelings were hurt, suck it up and move on.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • lou

      Um, the word "gay" is not really appropriate to wear at a family park in front of small children learning to read all day.

      If I wore a shirt that you said "you suck", I would expect to turn it inside out as well. I love my gay community.... but considering half the time they consider "so gay" to be offensive and controversial, why should they get a free pass to use it? Around kids? Come on. Get real lady.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jerry

      It was right that Ms. Parton apologized for this unfortunate incident. I personally wouldn't have been offended by the t-shirt. We still have freedom of speech in America, don't we?

      August 4, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      I guess I wouldn't be welcomed with my "I'm Against Abortion, but Pro Killing Babies." t-shirt at Dollywood either, darn. Guess I'll get my assbackwards hillbilly kicks at the Grand Ole Opry from now on.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • RoflCatDown

      What's controversial about it? Marriage requires a state-granted license to be legal, no mention of God is required during the ceremony, it does not have to be performed in a church or by a minister/priest, it carries specific legal protections and rights, and it requires a court of law to dissolve, and it is used to determine taxation rates.

      I don't know about you, but that makes marriage sound an awful lot like a legal condition that contains rights to protect spouses and their marriage from outside influence during a time of crisis or grief.

      I'm not gay, and every day I go home to my wife and I'm happy I'm married to her. If gay people are permitted to marry I'll still go home to my wife every day and be happy that I'm married to her.

      If you're a church and you don't want to marry gay people, don't marry gay people. Just don't expect federal funding for your causes.

      What's controversial about any of this? They love each other, the only reasons for gay marriage to be illegal is based on religious objection alone, and any other stated reason why is fear, hatred, and misinformation designed to create an emotional knee-jerk reaction against it. They don't molest children, they make great parents, and they don't turn their children gay in the process of raising them.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Any family or children taken to Dollywood is already being abused. A t-shirt is hardly going to scar them as much as their redneck parents already have.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      This has nothing to do with free speech, The only reason Dolly is saying anything is because her beliefs is in the almighty dollar. She is a business woman and she knows that most Christians have surrendered their church and much of their belief to the new gay theology rhetoric and will not protest or stop short of coming to Dollywood. Now compare that with the gay movement activist and you are talking a media blitz and business nightmare developing. She is only looking out for her personal financiial interest.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Wolf Bischoff

      Since Michele Bachmann is "en vogue", nothing seems cool in this country anymore. Please, dear Dolly Parton, stay normal and american as you did for all your life!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Norman

      it isnt controversial-its about eqaulity-there simply isnt two sides. There are milliosn who want equal rights, which they are gaining and there are bigoted haters who think gays are less than straights. There is the side of justice and right and teh side of bigotry and wrong. Fortunately, the haters are dying off and taking their hideous hateful religion with them. Only a matter of time...sorry bigots-you LOSE

      August 4, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ladydi

      Bull..............I dont want their relationship stuck in my face. If they're gay, thats fine – I have no problem with that as I have family members who are gay.

      August 4, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I did not know that D Parton supported gay and lesbian causes. She can keep her park. Next time she appears on TV, I'll change the channel.

      August 4, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • kjfuller7

      OMG! Jesus was a zombie! I'm busting a gut over here...

      August 4, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Lone

      Sorry zivo, not how it works. Private property, private rights. Freedom of speech, in this case on a shirt, means nothing.

      August 4, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Georgia Hull

      The message on this shirt is a Lesbian being proud of her family and her new legal status. Why is that so controversial? Non-gay people never seem to understand that we have been devalued and hated for loving each other. If anything needs to be addressed it is putting messages on little girls butts. This practice is sick and I see it everywhere.

      August 4, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • aaf

      It was policy as I feel. But the woman shouldn't have had the shirt on anyway. All these ads saying do not use that word because its insensitive. That using Gay as a slang word is wrong, but yet a gay woman used the word as a slang and it should be ok. I'm glad she was told no.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • maddoggy44

      The situations appears to have been handled appropriately...the statement from Ms. Parton I think says it all...unfortunately we live in communities where some are very intolerant. Let's not forget a husband and father of two was beaten nearly to death for wearing a rival baseball jersey. Let's hope one day all will be equal with all rights and privleges.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      The fact that people are arguing whether or not the shirt was controversial proves it controversial. If people didn't argue about its message, then it wouldn't be controversial because no one would care.

      /I don't think it's controversial.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I'm a gay man, and I support the park guest manager's decision, except maybe she should have offered the free shirt up front (if she didn't) and maybe even free park admission to avoid any controversy later. However, sometimes gay people seem to go out of their way to provoke, just like straight people sometimes do. Marriage is not "so gay" it's just marriage. I wish these two people wouldn't have put Dolly in this awkward position.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Whaa Whaa Whaa – no tears.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      You drive a red car because you want to be seen, these people should have known better.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Dragun

      Bill, the shirt has the word GAY on it. That is controversial regardless of how you paint its context within the shirt. I am in full support of Gay rights and if I had been the one on duty at that time would have asked this woman to do the same thing. They were not denied entry, and got a personal response from Ms. Parton! So how did this not end up working in their favor??

      August 4, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • jerry

      I am sick and tired of everyone having to watch what they say or do to not offend anyone.
      What ever happened to freedom of speech?
      I have friends of many races and relegions who I joke with constantly and they tell me they wish everyone was like me and just talk to them like they would talk to anyone else and not tiptoe or monitor every word they are going to say. Especially my black and indian buddies who tell me they can feel the bigotry of those who change how they speak and tone when its them and not a white person. Joking without malice is how you would treat and should treat all people. This is why society is on edge, no body knows what people are really thinking.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • paul

      Rednecks are such haters. Dolly wants to make $ and that means not turn away a single customer. She really ought to control the GOP people under her employ. Dolly stand up for Freedom of expression. Conservatism is such a disease of the mind.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      It's only controversial if you are a bigot.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • bb

      I know I WON'T be visiting Dollywood anytime soon because they treated this woman like that. We were planning to go at the end of August. Dollywood is a DUMP anyway. We can do better.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • funny


      turn your monitor upside down.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      The T-shirt got the response that was indended. I have been going to Dollywood for years and everyone knows that most of the customers you see there are traditional families. On the other hand, I have also been to Disneyworld many times which draws a much more diverse crowd. I believe this couple had an agenda and that is why they chose to wear the shirt on that day. I dont understand why "gay " couples feel like they have to let the whole world know they are there. I dont feel the need to wear a t-shirt with my marital status on it...but then I dont have an agenda .In my opinion, This couple didnt go to Disneyworld to wear thier shirt because they knew it would not get a second glance. I believe they carefully chose Dollywood...and it worked.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Richie

      My Bible says Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve...

      August 4, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      The woman complied and then later says her feelings were hurt. How ridiculous. Those who say this was not fair should realize and accept what I tell my children quite often, "LIFE ISN"T FAIR"!!! As long as you are going to enforce dress code, be sure you make teenage girls with bikini tops and shorts shorts cover up or others who should not be baring their bodies in public too. Dollywood has the right to make their own rules. I wish everyone especially those in the LGBT community would stop whining about being petty issues like this one. America has gotten so politically correct about everything at the risk of possibly offending someone else, it is ridiculous. There is no way anyone will ever make it through life without being "offended" or "offending" someone else. Grow up.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • tifoso

      @zivo24 et al. – You refer to not being permitted to shout fire in a crowded theater. Your point is not in dispute but the actual quote, from Schenck v. US, is that one may not "falsely shout 'fire!' in a crowded theater and thereby cause a panic." The shout must be false and it must cause a panic. Those additional elements substantially change the meaning. So, if someone wears a shirt with "Marriage is so gay", that is an expression of opinion. It is not, on its face, false. And, in this case, no one panicked. However, later decisions, Skokie, for example, have held that a person's right to free speech cannot be conditioned on what another person may do. So, even if the shirt would irritate or anger others, the shirt is legal to wear. All of the preceding have to do with government action. Whether Dollywood can have a different policy is another question but you raised the Schenck issue.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      I don't think it was controversial in the sense of the policy. I think the host over-reacted. I also think the issue is a non-issue - nobody was denied entry, no problems were caused. An apology should be more than sufficient, let alone a refund of funds.

      People should not be treated unfairly, but people should also let some things rest. If every little thing becomes a rallying cry, then it becomes impossible to distinguish between the really bad things and the other things.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      A kid's amusement park is no place for shirts with controversial political statements.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • sh

      Who cares. I guess I could throw red pain on the shirt.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • sh

      Who cares. I guess I could throw red paint on the shirt.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      The Southern Bible-Belt bigot who made the woman reverse her shirt should be fired. Shame on you! The whole world does not run on Born-again-ism!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • shannon klein

      My problem is this. They actually have public service announcements telling kids not to call things "gay". It's offensive to the gay community. It basically states that if something is "gay" it's wrong. Why is it ok for her to wear this shirt and offend people like myself who is not gay but has a gay sister but not for others. Keep the message consistent especially when dealing with children. If I saw her wearing this shirt in front of my child I would definately be offended since he has been grounded in the recent past for using the same language. If I worked at the park I would have asked her to turn the shirt around.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • FREE T's

      Dolly said so!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • WJP

      Am I protected by my first amendment rights if I wear a shirt that says"marriage between a man and woman is God's accepted law"? No I would not be protected, because the ACLU and other anti-god zealots would want me prosecuted for having a moral and just opinion. Just live with the reality, the liberal left only have one opinion and that's theirs. God needs their help to justify His language because He didn't think of everything. The democrats and the liberal population is comfortable with carving a human figure out of a piece of wood and bowing down to worship it instead of the true and just GOD. They already have their reward!!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |

      This is not a free speech issue since it happened at a private park. Does anyone understand what free speech protects and when and where you are covered by it? This happened at a private park that can rightfully determine anything they want to be acceptable. Free speech is a non-issue here. Free Speech only protects a person from being PROSECUTED. It has nothing to do with a private establishment's right to say what they think is or isn't accpetable. Obviously Dolly feels this should of been accpetable or she is trying keep down an outlash from the G & L Comunity.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • marek

      I read someone asking what is controversial – the public decides that; hot button issues that are in gov't or are socially discussed. Hope that answers your q. So the woman's shirt was controversial and in our real world the policy is a good one. In an ideal world people's bigorty should be checked in at the front entrance to anywhere. But that won't happen.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SteveN

      If they wore a t-shirt saying 'go F#$% the world' they would be asked to turn it inside out. Is that violating free speech? No, it's called common decency and this t-shirt is no different. But in a society that is increasingly condoning preversity as the norm and vilifiying anything good or moral, the back lash from the liberal 'anything goes' nuts, is not suprising.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • b0bc@t

      I volunteer at a local ski area which has many families and children as customers and guests. Recently a teenaged skier was enjoying a warm Spring day on the slopes with an offensive T-shirt message on it. The issue was not how he chose to dress, and not whether his message was consistent with my beliefs, but whether it was offensive to other customers, and why they should have to either condone or explain his profanity to their children while enjoying THEIR day on the slopes. He was asked to remove or turn the shirt inside out, or face the expulsion from the ski area.

      He was not asked to change his opinion, wasn't looked down upon for his views, just asked to be considerate of folks who have children who also wanted to enjoy a great day on the slopes. A patron of a family enterprise must be mindful that harrassment and tolerance must be viewed from those who are or would be offended, rather than by the tolerance of the person with the offensive message, no matter how strongly you maintain that belief.

      "Management reserves the right to revoke the priviledges granted by this admission ticket at its' discretion."

      August 4, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Blaise

      I don't see any difference between this and a t-shirt saying "Abortion is killer!" It's just looking for a fight and inappropriate for a theme park. No apology necessary.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      That is Dollywood's Splash Country's right.
      Remember private property rights?
      I say hooray to them for enforcing a dress code.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      I agree that it can be controversial to some, though not all. Especially since the couple wearing it was lesbian, it seems a little more of a statement than just a t-shirt. Forcing someone to take it off is another decision, but I think many could find the t-shirt and its context controversial, yes.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Allen

      Gay people need to be held to the same standard as "breeders". Us breeders that keep the species going (for good or bad), have to be very careful not to offend any perceived "special" group. But when they simply have to turn a potentially offensive shirt inside-out at a private establishment, somehow they become the victim. Dolly should not have given an apology to two women who knew their shirt would offend. They didn't care. But when confronted with their childish antics at the private business, they become the offended. The Gay community has a severe lack of understanding how to endear themselves with us hetero's. And Im a white male with christian leanings. Hope my existence doesn't offend to much.

      Dolly should have said "You want respect, you need to give it. Take your crap to California, not Pigeon Forge, Tennessee."
      Shame on you Dolly for caving to political correctness.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • katiepea

      this topic is only controversial if you're living in 1960, keep sheltering yourself tho, all the gays will go away

      August 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Let's celebrate free speech, let's not try to "protect" people from those that don't believe in it.

      I know very few people that don't believe free speech can have repercussions, especially from those that don't believe people have a right to think or speak differently. Most of us that like to exercise our rights understand it, and are perfectly ok with someone else having a different view about the world around us. It's the people that can't stand that someone else has a different belief, or want to suppress a person's right to voice their beliefs that are the problem. But we should hide in fear from those people.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike E.

      As a gay man I really appreciate Dolly coming forward with an apology. I myself wouldn't wear a shirt like that and times being what they are, I would be concerned for my child's safety. I actually think I agree with the staff at the park. That being said I've worn red at Disney World during Gay Days in Orlando. That's slightly different because there are thousands and thousands of people with red shirts on, many of which are straight. I think there's a lot in the subtlety of the message too when one is displaying a color instead of a written message.

      August 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      that shirt is stupid, it should be against the law to wear it anywhere

      August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mara

      not contraversial? It's ambiguous at best. "That's so gay" is an insult we scold our children for using, and yet 'Marriage is so gay" is perceived as NOT insulting to married folks? Having worked on anti-bullying programs within my school district, I've seen how 'gay' is often used to mean lame, stupid, disgusting, or even rediculous. That being my experience, I would have assumed these women were ANTI-gay and ANTI-marriage.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • DP

      The park employee followed policy. If the policy said, "only controversial statements Dolly Parton agrees with", it'd be different. The statement was controversial by any definition of the word. It's a current, public controversy.

      And the statement is meant to have a double meaning, though only one intended meaning. It could be taken to be an insult to marriage by calling it "gay" in the way the teenagers used the word a few years ago. That makes it a bit more controversial than a shirt that plainly states, "I support gay marriage." I had to read the article down to the word "wife" to be 100% sure which meaning was intended.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • S Kyle

      I am gay. I support Dolly and admire her support of the GLBT community. I also support the freedom of speech. However, what I do not support is some lesbian's decision to wear a gay marriage message plastered on her chest to a family-oriented theme park... the same way I would not support a straight redneck's decision to wear a tshirt calling the president a monkey or a college frat boy's decision to wear a tshirt advocating drunk driving. There are times and places for all sorts of communication and debate and adult subject matter. Bringing it into a children's theme park in the middle of the summer is thoughtless and stupid.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      Dolly Parton is a smart cookie. Nipped this in the bud very nicely.

      August 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Double Standard

      Honestly, there is a bit of a double standard here and I'm remaining completely neutral on the gay marriage issue.

      Not too long ago there were multiple news stories about the use of 'gay' as an adjective synonymous with 'stupid' or 'uncool' (i.e., "That shirt is so gay"). The LBGT community made a huge deal about this and many public figures that used 'gay' in that manner were coerced into making public apologies for using what they deemed as hurtful language.

      My question: What if the host of the park who asked the shirt be turned inside-out had believed that it was possible that the shirt could be considered offensive because of the use of the adjective "gay"? What if the host of the park was trying to spare the use of such 'hurtful language' inside the park?

      The phrase on the shirt is ambiguous and the use of the term 'gay' is controversial. It was a conflict waiting to happen. All biases aside, I see nothing wrong with the decision the host of the park made.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I agree with no doubt. Wore it to family theme park just to be noticed.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jdub

      well my thoughts are just about anything can be offensive but we are a free country and should be able to express ourselves however we choose. There was nothing wrong with this tshirt. In fact most would not have even noticed it. But people need to be very careful because these swords cut both directions. It is going to get to the point you cant wear a cross or your jesus logo's and tshirts as this would be offensive to the athiests and non believers. So keep this up but that day is coming if we dont draw the line somewhere.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • BooBoo LaRue

      Not that there is anything wrong with that..

      August 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • jojo

      i agree witht the parks decision on this.. its their park and you need to follow their rules. someone said something about the bathing suits being rebel flags well they make you cover it up before you get in the park and also look at the history of a rebel flag it dont say nothing about rasism thats like saying someone cant wear a american flag.. seriously this shirt would have got them women harrased while in the park by other people so they were just protecting them...

      August 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sb

      Having just returned from a trip to the area, I can testify that in this part of the country the message was indeed controversial. We were there because of the Smoky Mountains, not Dollywood, but there were a lot of people wandering around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge who looked as if they wouldn't be out of place at a Tea Party rally or a NASCAR event. The friendliest people on earth - as long as you are just like them.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucky

      ...and now we wait. We wait for a dirt level lawyer to tell the family he can win millions of dollars for them because they were " Hurt and embarrassed"

      August 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherry Royer

      I'll bet she wouldn't have been asked to turn her shirt around if she'd had on an ANTI-Gay Marriage shirt!

      August 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennygirl

      marriage is so gay is a fact?

      August 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pris

      I had to read the sentence, "the woman.....along with her wife," in order to understand what message was intended. I work in a high school and correct students when I hear them say that something is so "gay." Their use is supposed to convey that whatever they are referring to is so dumb, lame or stupid. So for a moment, I thought the shirt message meant that marriage is stupid. Using "gay" that way is very offensive, which is what I say to the kids, but I bet there could be other people in the park, mostly young, who would interpret it that way.

      August 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |

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